US looking for alternate supply routes due to Pakistan unrest

US looking for alternate supply routes due to Pakistan unrest

Washington: In a sign of its increasing concern over the situation in emergency-ruled Pakistan, the US has started making contingency plans in case the turmoil disrupts supply lines to American troops stationed in Afghanistan.

Pentagon Spokesman Geoff Morrell said even though the supply lines remained “open", American commanders in Afghanistan are showing “very real" concern since 75% of all supplies, including 40% of all fuel, flow either through or over Pakistan.

“If it becomes necessary to alter our supply lines, we want to make sure we have a backup plan. Clearly, we do not like the situation that we find ourselves in right now," Morrell said, adding he did not know how long it will take to establish an alternate supply route.

The official, however, refused to say whether the move reflected a lack of confidence in President Pervez Musharraf, who is increasingly becoming isolated with most of the political parties and civil society in Pakistan opposing his decision to impose emergency.

“I’m not going to get into whether that reflects ill on President Musharraf. The fact that we’re looking at contingency supply lines you believe is a vote of no confidence in President Musharraf, I wouldn’t characterize it as anything more than it is," he said.

The Pentagon official also maintained that the US had no immediate concern about the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, saying, “We believe they are under appropriate control."