We have stopped supplies to foreign forces in Afghanistan from today, Mohammad Shakir Afridi
age companies in Pakistan have stopped delivering to foreign troops in Afghanistan after a major deterioration in security along the key supply route, an association official said Monday. The decision follows a series of major raids by suspected Taliban militants on international military supply depots in northwest Pakistan in the past two weeks in which hundreds of NATO and US-led coalition vehicles were destroyed. "We have stopped supplies to foreign forces in Afghanistan from today, Mohammad Shakir Afridi, president of the Khyber Transport Association, told AFP Monday in the northwestern city of Peshawar. "We have around 3,500 trucks, tankers and other vehicles, we are the major suppliers to Afghanistan, transporting about 60-70 percent of goods," said Afridi, whose association represents transport companies in the area. He said the decision followed a worsening in law and order along the 55-kilometre (35-mile) stretch between Peshawar, where the military supplies are stored, and the Khyber pass which links Pakistan with Afghanistan. The bulk of the supplies and equipment required by NATO and US-led forces battling the Taliban insurgency is shipped to Pakistan's largest port, Karachi in the south. From there, the containers of food, fuel, vehicles and munitions are taken by truck to depots outside Peshawar before being transported through Pakistan's restive tribal areas to Afghanistan via the Khyber pass. But the fabled road passes through the heart of Pakistan's tribal zone, a hideout for militants since the ousting of Afghanistan's Taliban regime at the end of 2001. Afridi said drivers had been putting their lives at risk by transporting goods through the lawless area. "The situation is extremely bad for us," he said. "We have nothing to do with politics, we want peace."