After the opening day of the NATO summit in Chicago President Obama is still working on solidifying a strategy for ending combat operations in Afghanistan, but it seems his secondary goal of opening up supply lines in Pakistan has already fallen apart. President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan was invited to Chicago at the last minute in the hope that the issue could be settled, but on Sunday President Obama refused to even meet with him without an agreement in place.
The route, which once moved 40 percent of NATO’s nonlethal supplies into Afghanistan, has been closed since 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in American airstrikes in November. The country has demanded an apology, though it seems the central issue now is how much Pakistan will be paid for allowing transport trucks on its roads again. The New York Times reports that previously Pakistan wanted $250 for every truck traveling from Karachi to the Afghan border, but now it’s more than $5,000 per truck. Zardari was granted a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday and both sides say they’re hopeful that they’ll reach a deal soon — though probably not during the summit.