ISLAMABAD: Barely a month after Pakistan’s retaliatory decision to block Nato supplies for the coalition forces stationed in Afghanistan, the United States has decided to export all its cargo, including military hardware and arms, out of Pakistan.
Sources told Express News that the break in supplies has frustrated US authorities to the point where they are now weighing various options to move around the cargo stranded at various locations in Pakistan.
“It has been a month since the Nato attack which resulted in the port and border closures with no resolution in sight, the US government intends to have all import unit cargo that is currently staged at different Container Holding Yards (CHYs) moved back to Karachi port or the nearest CHY to the port. Once we receive approval, all unit cargo will be exported out of Pakistan,” wrote Anita Rice, Chief of the OCCA SWA (595th Trans Brigade, NSA Bahrain) in an email to all ‘concerned’ persons.
“To ensure smooth transition from import to export cargo in the Pakistan Customs Clearance System (PaCCS) and Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) computer systems, documents are required to be submitted to the US consulate in Karachi,” Anita added in the email.
“We require all USC-6 (universal contract 2006) carriers to submit the required documents to the US consulate, Karachi ([email protected]) for cargo/supplies currently staged outside the port for export,” the email read.
According to sources, US cargo, stranded in Pakistan, is worth millions of dollars and US authorities have serious concerns over the safety of the cargo as it includes hammer vehicles, dumpers, anti-aircraft guns, special carriers of anti-aircraft guns, vehicles specially built to jam communications, cranes and sophisticated weapons.
“We will compile information for submission to Pakistan customs for amendment for cargo export,” Rice said in her email, providing US Lieutenant Colonel Jerome Heath’s contact number for further assistance.
Furthermore, it was learnt that the US was using Pakistani routes to supply cargo to its military forces fighting in Afghanistan since 2006 under USC-6 (universal contract 2006). Under this arrangement, US military personnel were engaged in loading and unloading of cargo while no physical checking was being carried out by Pakistani authorities.
When approached by ExpressNews, Rice refused to comment. Heath was also not available to share his version on this report.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2011.