What the price negotiations about NATO supply lines remind us of
Pakistan wants an additional $5000 for each truck that passes through its its territory carrying non-lethal supplies for NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan. US is hoping to clinch the deal at $1500-1800 a truck of supplies. Pakistan also wants an indemnity waiver in case American cargo is damaged. US might end up discontinuing the Coalition Support Fund money it pays to Pakistan to balance out the new levy on supply trucks. And the haggling continues.
This reminds us of the story (often attributed to George Bernard Shaw) of a conversation between a very sophisticated gentleman and a very respectable lady at a party.
“Well,” says the gentleman, “just for the sake of our argument, suppose I offered you $100,000—would you spend the night with me?”
The lady, smiling coquettishly: “Who knows—I might very well!”
The gentleman: “Now suppose I offer you $10 for the night?”
The lady: “But what do you think I am?”
The gentleman: “We’ve already established what you are. Now we’re just haggling over the price.”
One wonders if that is the line someone from the US actually uses during the negotiations when the Pakistan rhetoric over sovereignty gets too much to bear: “We’ve already established what you are. Now we’re just haggling over the price.”