Defence Secretary denies reports of US compound at Karachi airport
ISLAMABAD: Secretary Defence Lt Gen (Retd) Asif Yaseen Malik on Wednesday denied the report that the US Army Corps had been permitted to build a Tactical Command and Operations Centre (TCOC) compound at the Karachi Airport.
A session of the NA’s standing committee on defence was held here in Islamabad chaired by Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho.
The secretary defence told the committee that no permission had been given to the US Army Corps to build a compound at the Karachi Airport. He said the defence ministry had taken notice of the project tender document released from the US Army Corps of Engineer in the Middle East for the construction of the compound.
He added the defence ministry had written to both US and Pakistani officials to investigate the matter.
Yaseen Malik told the standing committee that all three armed forces were fully aware of terrorism threats to their installations.
The defence secretary said that Army commandoes have already been deployed for the protection of the Pakistan Air Force and Navy’s facilities. He added that steps were also being taken to provide increased security to the Army’s facilities and Pakistan’s nuclear installations.
Speaking to reporters after the briefing, the secretary defence said that the tender document for the US Tactical Command and Operations Centre had been released in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and that that defence ministry had nothing to do with the compound or any such project.
He reiterated that the US Army Corps have not been allowed to build any sort of facility at any civilian airport, nor would they be allowed to.
He added that there were no election or political cells being operated by any of the intelligence agencies, including the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).