US Embassy says no Nato, Isaf containers missing
06 September, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The US Embassy on Thursday made a startling statement saying none of the 19,000 containers claimed to be missing belonged to Nato/Isaf in Afghanistan.
The statement said: "We have engaged the appropriate Pakistani authorities on this topic. We have underscored that the United States is able to account for all shipments that have arrived in and transited Karachi ports."
The US Embassy statement further stated that the United States government and Isaf cargo shipments are subject to inspection by Pakistani customs authorities.
"The United States and Isaf use carriers who are licensed and bonded by Pakistani customs authorities. The United States tracks and accounts for all military cargo shipments worldwide, including those shipments entering and transiting Pakistan," said the spokesman at the embassy.
The key question being asked after this statement in Islamabad is why did it take so long for the US to clarify that 19,000 US/Isaf containers had not been stolen from Karachi ports?
On August 30, Director General Sindh Rangers Major General Rizwan Akhtar told the Supreme Court that around 19,000 shipping containers having weapons and vehicles had gone missing.
Akhtar told the court that these containers went missing when an MQM senior party official was minister for ports and shipping in the PPP-led government.
If indeed the 19,000 containers did not belong to the US or Isaf, and Rizwan Akhtar insists that these containers are still missing, then who else was importing weapons on such a massive scale?
If this is indeed the case, then why has the government and especially Rizwan Akhtar chosen to remain silent over a 'massive missing' which according to the Americans is really not missing?
After the matter has been in the media and the Supreme Court has taken note of these allegations, the US embassy clarified, "Media suggestions that 19,000 United States/Isaf containers were stolen, including containers that contain weapons and ammunition, are false.
While the United States routinely uses Karachi ports for both diplomatic and military shipments, neither the United States nor Isaf has ever shipped weapons or ammunition via Karachi ports."
It would now be the turn of Rizwan Akhtar to explain what led him to and what proof he can provide for his statement under oath in the Supreme Court, and if not Isaf containers, then which other containers are missing.