26 Nato containers cross into Pakistan
QUETTA: At least 26 long vehicles carrying containers reportedly containing military equipment and other goods belonging to Nato troops in Afghanistan entered into Chaman from Vesh Mandi, an Afghan border town, on Tuesday, official sources said.
“So far 43 trailers have entered Chaman from Afghanistan for shifting the military equipment to Karachi port for further shipment to next destination,” the Collector of Custom, Quetta, Ibrahim Vighio told Dawn, adding that Customs officials after clearance would allow the trailers to continue their journey up to Karachi port and Port Qasim.
He said that some two dozen more such vehicles were waiting in Vesh town for clearance from Afghan Custom authorities to enter Chaman for their onward journey to Karachi. “We are also giving clearance to the Nato containers after checking all required documents,” he said.
However, he said the containers were sealed and Customs staff had checked it using sophisticated scanners. “But we do not know what kind of equipment and luggage was being shifted to Karachi through these containers,” Mr. Vighio said.
Some other sources, however, said the containers returning from Afghanistan were carrying heavy equipment, including weapons, vehicles and other items under the use of Nato and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
These equipment and goods would be sent to those countries through Karachi port and Port Qasim from which the ISAF and Nato forces belong.
Nato had made its own arrangements for providing security to the containers during their movement from Afghanistan to Karachi port. Provincial Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani said: “They have arranged their own security for protection of containers carrying Nato equipment to Karachi from Afghanistan.
“We are ready to provide security to Nato containers if they will request it,” Mr Durrani said. However, he said that Frontier Corps, police and Levies personnel were patrolling the main highways.