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U.S. seeking alternatives to Pakistan routes for Afghanistan war supplies
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08:42, November 15, 2007

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The U.S. military is seeking alternatives to transporting supplies to Afghanistan via Pakistan which is undergoing political instability, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

According to the Defense Department, 75 percent of military supplies for Afghanistan have to be transported through or over Pakistan, including 40 percent of oil supplies.

Although the routes are still open after Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf declared national emergency on Nov. 3, the Pentagon has to make contingency plans to its supplies for the Afghanistan War.

"There are efforts underway right now to figure out contingency supply lines to our troops in Afghanistan if it becomes necessary to alter the way we now support our troops in Afghanistan," said Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell.

Given the importance of the Pakistani supply lines to the U.S. military in Afghanistan, it is responsible to have a contingency plan, he added.

Morrell refused to comment on the question that whether the contingency planning reflected a loss of the U.S. confidence in the Musharraf government.

"I wouldn't characterize it as anything more than what it is," he said.

However, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates earlier expressed his worry that Pakistan political instability would distract the country's focus from anti-terrorist operations.

Source: Xinhua

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