The ball bearings are in their court now!


Although, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has recently ordered to initiate a probe into the issue of arms smuggling through thousands of containers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that went missing in the past year, in yet another official negligence as many as 31 containers have went missing from the city’s largest port –Port Qasim.
The other day, the apex court, while hearing a case on the city’s worsening law and order situation had ordered the authorities of the Customs Collectorate and its intelligence wing to probe as to how the NATO containers were opened and arms and ammunitions shifted to the provincial metropolis.
Besides, it was also stated by the DG Rangers (Sindh) that the same weapons were being used to disrupt the law and order situation in the city.
Customs (Intelligence) Direcotor Manzoor Memon had pointed out the missing of containers from the Port Qasim a few days back, following the negligence of the customs authorities deployed at the port. Later, the official apprised his senior authorities about the disappearance of the 31 containers that according to sources, were loaded with spare-parts and ball bearings. Moreover, it was also opined that the containers might have been carrying arms and ammunition.
The sources informed that containers reached the Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT), located 70 kilometres from Karachi Port. However, the Port Qasim Authority (PQA) had nothing to do with the clearance of the containers, its checking, and transportation.
“How come a large number of containers disappeared from the port area which is closely monitored by the Military Intelligence, Naval Intelligence, Customs Department, Customs Intelligence, anti-smuggling and immigration wings of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Interestingly, the security staff of the PQA has no latest scanning machines that could check the containers,” a senior official at the PQA, wishing not to be named, told Pakistan Today.
When contacted, Ports and Shipping Director General Shoaib Mir told Pakistan Today that Director Customs (intelligence) had pointed out that something fishy was happening at the port. “When he investigated, it was found that 31 containers have gone missing from the port,” he added.
The Customs Intelligence is supposed to check, keep an eye on the containers as the PQA has nothing to do with arrival of the containers process, the DG added.
“The probe into the matter has been launched by the Customs Intelligence, now let us see what results the inquiry will yield,” he said.