Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Case of Missing NATO Containers & WikiLeaks.

 WASHINGTON: A 2008 diplomatic cable, from the then US ambassador Anne Patterson, to Washington, confirmed news reports that Nato planes had been using Pakistan`s airspace with Islamabad`s consent. The cable released by WikiLeaks said that about 150 Nato flights crossed Pakistan`s airspace every day. The ambassador said that sometimes Pakistani planes tried to follow those planes but the efforts stopped after US officials spoke to senior Pakistani military officials. Another cable sent on Nov 17, 2008, says that US military containers that pass through Pakistan on their way to Afghanistan never contain weapons or ammunition. The cable sent notes that the Pakistani media often report that ammunition and arms off hijacked US convoys are being sold in Pakistan. “To be clear, no weapons, ammunition or sensitive electronics are shipped to Afghanistan by land routes through Pakistan,” she told Washington while commenting on the media reports. The cable notes that after the hijacking of two US military contracted trucks in 2008, “the Pakistani rumour mill has generated reports about weapon caches supposedly stolen from US military and Nato convoys complete with elaborate descriptions of non-existent contents of containers”. The ambassador assures Washington that “any reports of agents buying weapons from stolen US military or Nato containers are false”. REFERENCE: Pakistan`s airspace being used by Nato flights: cable By Our Correspondent | From the Newspaper

Pakistan Tonight with Fahad Hussain - 7th sep 2011 part1


ISLAMABAD: Thousands of Nato, ISAF and US Military containers have reportedly gone missing inside Pakistan during the last four years amid serious fears that many of these may have contained arms and ammunitions, which may have gone to terrorists. Almost corroborating the grave charges levelled by dissident Sindhi PPP leader Dr Zulfiqar Mirza that a senior minister of MQM was responsible for these missing containers being in-charge of Ports and Shipping Ministry, sources in the Federal Board of Revenue say in addition to more than 24,000 missing containers of Afghan Transit Trade Commercial side, thousands of the unchecked containers belonging to Nato, ISAF and US Military had left the Karachi Port, but did not cross the Pak-Afghan border during the last four years. The sources, however, did not name any one for this missing cargo, as alleged by Dr Mirza. The sources said an inquiry committee is presently investigating the matter to ascertain the exact number of Nato, ISAF and US Military’s non-commercial containers that have disappeared during these years without any knowledge of the authorities about the contents in these containers. However, the sources apprehend that the missing containers were loaded with huge quantities of arms and ammunitions. REFERENCE: FBR confirms 24,000 containers missing from Karachi Port Ansar Abbasi Wednesday, September 07, 2011 /TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=8620&Cat=13

Pakistan Tonight with Fahad Hussain - 7th sep 2011 part2


The MQM, however, strongly denied the allegations at a news conference addressed by former Karachi Nazim Mustafa Kamal and said if containers were stolen there would have been some FIRs registered and while police was under Zulfiqar Mirza as Home Minister why did he not stop this theft and lodge any FIR. According to one of the sources, the number of missing Nato, ISAF and US Military containers is expected to be alarmingly high and possibly beyond one’s comprehension. A spokesman for the FBR, when contacted, said the number of missing ATT commercial containers has so far been confirmed around 24,000 following which the FBR had already initiated action against the responsible. The spokesman said a FBR committee is presently focusing on the missing containers of Nato, ISAF and US Military to get the exact number during the last four years. He, however, did not give any number for these missing containers and insisted that it would be speculative to quote the figure of thousands for the missing Nato, ISAF and US Military containers. REFERENCE: FBR confirms 24,000 containers missing from Karachi Port Ansar Abbasi Wednesday, September 07, 2011 /TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=8620&Cat=13

Pakistan Tonight with Fahad Hussain - 7th sep 2011 part3


“We would quote the figure only when we have the precise number,” the spokesman said, adding in case of the missing Nato, ISAF and US Military containers the government would even take up the matter with the concerned embassies before giving any conclusive figure. The spokesman admitted that there exist serious holes in the system, which led to the missing of tens of thousands of containers. The sources, however, said the facility provided by the government of Pakistan for commercial and military imports for Afghanistan have been massively misused not only as a conduit for smugglers, but also for terrorists and the enemies of Pakistan. “Nobody knows what was there in the missing containers of Nato, ISAF and US Military,” one of the sources said, lamenting despite these scandalous facts known to different authorities in the government, nothing has been done as yet to ascertain where these missing containers actually landed. In July this year, FBR chairman Salman Siddique had informed the Supreme Court that over Rs47 billion were evaded as 23,882 containers of commercial category under Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) destined from Karachi port to Afghanistan were missing. Besides, he admitted that record of 19,000 dispatched containers to Afghanistan through Chaman and Torkham borders under non-commercial category for ISAF from January 2007 to October was not found so another pilferage to national exchequer was also observed. The FBR chairman also told the court that FIRs were lodged against the culprits including importers, clearing agents, terminal/port operators, custom officials, shipping agents, transporters on 147 containers missing incident whereas letter of explanation were also issued to the concerned officers. REFERENCE: FBR confirms 24,000 containers missing from Karachi Port Ansar Abbasi Wednesday, September 07, 2011 /TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=8620&Cat=13

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