US approaches Ministry of Defense for seeking amendments in CGO-10

KARACHI: The Ministry of Defense, on the proposal of US ODRP, has recommended amendments in Customs General Order (CGO)-10 in a bid to protect their patsy.

The prime objective of the proposed amendment in CGO-10/2012 is to protect the focal person of US Consulate General Karachi, who has been found involved in pilferage of US Army/NATO/ISAF reverse cargo.

It may be mentioned that huge quantity of hazmat waste and other goods including power generating units destined to Dubai and Germany via Port Qasim was pilfered in Pakistan.

The CGO-10/2012 provides, “If the goods are found missing, stolen or removed due to an) reason, penal action shall be taken against the concerned persons including the carrier, authorized agent and focal person along with recovery of the duty and taxes involved in accordance with the provisions of Customs Act, 1969”.

And now, the US authorities want that the mention of ‘focal person’ should be taken out of the CGO-10. Sources said that the US authorities have also sought diplomatic immunity for their focal person.

A former clerk at Pakistan Customs Computer Bureau named Iftikhar Haider was nominated by US Consulate as the focal person to supervise and look after the movement of cargo of US Army/NATO and ISAF.

Sources said that Iftikhar Haider was a Pakistani national and seeking diplomatic immunity for him proved that the US authorities were not only aware of Haider’s wrongdoings, rather US Consulate patronized the pilferage of US Army/NATO/ISAF cargo including hazmat waste in Pakistan.

To recall, the Supreme Court of Pakistan took a suo moto action in 2011 regarding pilferage of liquor in Pakistan. Several companies including M/s Lunar and M/s Berger Louis were importing liquor, which was to be transported to Afghanistan for US Army and NATO/ISAF forces, but the same was being pilfered in the country. These importers had the authorization and quota letters from different embassies.

So in order to eliminate such pilferage US Consulate, Ministry of Defense and Customs in coordination with each other formed CGO-10/2012, and the focal person was nominated to deal with the transportation of US Army/NATO cargo to end pilferage.

Now, the US authorities want amendment in the CGO-10, which was formed with their input and consent.

Director General of Intelligence & Investigation and Directorate of Transit Trade have lodged several FIRs pertaining to the pilferage of reverse cargo. These FIRs have booked the authorized agents and bonded carriers as provided by the CGO-10. However, the focal person was not nominated in FIRs. But, Iftikhar Haider has been nominated in ‘Contravention Reports’ for recovery of duty and taxes pertaining to the pilfered goods. However, the focal person has not appeared before Adjudication for hearing despite several notices.

This is the first time CGO-10 is being enforced, which irked US and the Consulate approached Ministry of Defense proposing the amendments.

Sources said that US authorities were desperate to protect and save Iftikhar Haider. If they failed in bailing out Haider, other elements would not play in their hands serving their vested interests in Pakistan.

It has become quite evident that the US’s so called war against terrorism is being fought in Pakistan and the people of Pakistan have suffered just too much.

Former PM Shaukat Aziz had given complete liberty to Americans, hundreds of passports were issued there was no check and balance, and as a result the entire country became a battle field. The US funded and formed several militant groups to serve their designs and these groups have now become a nuisance for Pakistan.

Sources said that not only the civil society was corrupted through flow of US dollars, even the institutions were weakened.

Sources however said military leadership and political leadership are on the same page and working in close coordination as well as cooperation to counter all menaces including terrorism and anti-state conspiracies. Moreover, the foreign policy shift suggests that both military and political leadership has realized that being on US block was a loss-loss deal for Pakistan and its people.

It is hardly possible that the concerned authorities would even consider the proposal of US Consulate issued by the Ministry of Defense recommending amendments in CGO-10/2012.

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