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No More Unchecked Access to US Officials

October 14, 2009

By Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: All US officials and diplomats will now have to go through normal airport checks at the Islamabad Airport as the government has decided to withdraw the extraordinary concession offered to them after 9/11 by former president Pervez Musharraf. Under the concessions, the US officials and their vehicles enjoyed unchecked arrivals and departures and no scrutiny of their luggage was done at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA), Islamabad.

On the direction of the Defence Ministry, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued orders for the withdrawal of this facility as of Oct 15. The decision has been taken after reports that this concession was misused in the past.

New Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been devised and notified that would now make the Americans and the UN officials to go through normal checks.Gammon Gate of the BBIA, which was basically meant for food catering services and had a direct outside airport link without passing through immigration and customs checks, was specified for the US officials and for the UN officials too. This special facility allowed the Americans to have unchecked arrivals and departures to and from the Islamabad Airport.

Sources said this facility was massively misused and there were reports of even unauthorised and undeclared import of sensitive material and equipment, including weapons. This fact raised serious alarm bells among the Pakistani authorities and forced them to withdraw the facility that was given to the Americans by the former dictator without proper consultation and consideration.

According to sources, the kind of unusual concession is not even available to the president and premier of Pakistan who, though enjoy full protocol and VVIP treatment, go through the mandatory checks in the US.

Interestingly, Musharraf offered such concessions to the Americans despite Washington’s extraordinary strict immigration and security checks from all those coming from Pakistan, including the VVIPs. In one of Musharraf’s earlier official tours to the US, his media spokesman Rashid Qureshi, who was then a brigadier, was made to untie his military boots at the Dallas Airport.

In view of the security concerns, the CAA issued an order on September 25, announcing the withdrawal of Gammon Gate facility from foreign missions based in Islamabad. The operative part of the order reads: ìPursuant to the instructions received from the Defence Ministry vide letter No 2-1/2009-ASF dated Sep 16, 2009, the facility of use of Gammon Gate by the officials\vehicles of the US embassy and UN missions may be withdrawn w.e.f Oct 15, 2009.î

Documents show the government authorities admitting that the Customs and immigration authorities having no arrangements/staff to check the movement and crew and other foreigners, etc. “The equipment related to aeroplane, the crew and their personal luggage also passes through this gate. During checking, US vehicles and the luggage they carry to and from apron area are not properly searched\checked by the ASF staff deputed to control the entry\exit at the Gammon Gate,” a document said, adding in view of this use of the Gammon Gate by foreigners should be stopped forthwith as it was a serious security hazard.

The new SOPs that the Americans and UN officials are supposed to follow like rest of the foreigners include:

1. Foreign mission may like to use Rawal Lounge or normal lounges. In case of Rawal Lounge, it will be on payment basis as per the existing policy.

2. Vehicles of officials concerned of the above foreign missions will be parked in Rawalpindi Lounge car park. In case of non-availability of car parking space in Rawal Lounge car park, the vehicles may be parked in Govt Lane in General Car Park.

3. Proper security checks be ensured and other formalities, i.e. Customs and immigration be completed in case of operation of the aircraft to\from foreign destinations.

4. Proper arrangement for transportation of crew\passengers\technicians of respective aircraft and their baggage from lounge to the aircraft and vide versa also need to be done.

5. In case of international operation, the aircraft shall be parked on designated parking bay as allocated by the ATS Unit.

6. In case of International Departure, CAA (Apron Management Office) telephone number shall be informed at least one hour before the intended departure time of such operation.

These SOPs, according to the document, shall take effect from October 15, 2009.

US embassy spokesman Richard Snelsire, when contacted, said he did not know about the extraordinary concession offered to the US officials and diplomats at the BBIP. He said what he knew was the fact that even when the senior US officials arrived at the Chaklala airbase, they got through normal immigration and customs checks.

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21 comments

  1. Thats the way it should have been.


  2. good measures for such American terrorist


  3. Hope this is the beginning of some good.
    and next step from stablashmint we pray to remove this traitor govt from islamabad and some patriots get in/ ALLAH- Pakistan ka hafiz


  4. It is about time, that dog Mushariff we must hang that bastard and all his cronnies in order to prove to the nation that Pakistan means Bussiness.


  5. Let’s hope the same is implemented at all the Airports in Pakistan and these bloody American terrorists of CIA are kept a sharp eye on!

    They bomb places, kill people, only in the interest of USA’s foreign policy. The American people are beginning to learn what their blood-earned tax money is paying for: “Murder of innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistan”.

    Qabar mein kis munh say jaaogay Musharraf
    Sharam tumko magar nahi aati!


    • you’re obviously out of your mind. ansar abbasi is a habitual liar. these procedures were not in existence under president musharraf. this is a complete lie. visiting american diplomats were required to go through regular checking. if that was not the case, why was there no blackwater during musharrafs time? why were there not americans harrassing innocent pakistanis in islamabad? why did all of this start in the last few months? because it was not happening under musharraf. he was and will remain pakistan’s best leader. idiots like yourself wont understand that unfortunately.


      • My dear Hamza, i know where you’re coming from. I seriously don’t believe in either Musharraf or any political leader.

        Let me just add a few more points for your kind information:

        1. Black Water and DynCorp have been operating in Pakistan since 2007. Back then, Musharraf was still strong and mighty in Pakistan. He went down because he had kept some of the worst Politicians as his advisors.

        2. Who gave this poor nation the gift of NRO and through it a new President named Asif Ali Ghaddari? Now don’t say it wasn’t Musharraf’s fault.

        3. Musharraf was a good man, but let’s not fight fellow Pakistanis if they profess a different opinion. And no need to call anyone a liar. Its ok, we all want Pakistan to become a better place.

        Kindly avoid hostile attitude towards fellow Pakistani brethren.

        Thanks.


      • @ paktriot
        bro, plz let go of the thought that Musharraf is responsible. He was not alone. Further more NRO story was fully supported by the masses. The masses were protesting daily, Go Musharraf Go! Now you can cherish demoracy. Still if you feel it shouldn’t stand then ask our great chief justice to take up the NRO. We tend to point in the wrong directions and tend to pin all our wrong doings on previuoz regime… Let go, let go & let go. No one is squeaky clean and all of them have dirt on their hands. Time for us to stop personality bashing and work on accountabilty and an honest & independent judiciary… To avoid any future mshaps ans abuse of power…


    • it was not allowed by Musharraf..he had drawn a clear line and he was most hated person in zionist lobby thats why they tried 5 times to eliminate him and in the end these political bastard did that by so called impeachment… he should have hanged all politicians and he missed that chance i think he will get another chance lets see this time…


  6. A good step. Congratulations!


  7. A good step. Lets hope it is implemented in letter and spirit. Coz we already have all the rules and laws BUT are not implemented.


  8. We are a nation which can be carried away easily.Above report is from a person,who on this very site,was labelled Kazzab,traitor and what not.

    We all hate Americans and,want such treatment be meted out to them,but would also like to get an independant confirmation of ALL,repeat ALL, which has been said above.

    It is true that we should listen to WHAT is being said but at times,it is necessary to see WHO is saying this.

    PKKH seems to be losing its direction.


    • You are not making any sence bro. sound gibbrish to me.


      • Mr. Paki.
        there is some reference number of a letter in the article above. If you got a source in CAA or Ministry of Defence please check it.


      • I think PKKH is going exactly in the direction that we intend to go in. You however my friend seem really confused! :/


  9. It shouldn’t just end there: tit-for-tat mandatory fingerprinting, eye-scanning and secondary interrogation of all these so-called officials has to be implemented.

    If they choose to treat our people as guilty until proven innocent, we can do the same to them.


  10. Good work…shud never have been the other way!


  11. Mr.Orakzai,
    Ansar Abbasi has tried to sensationalise the issue,because,nowadays,America is the hot topic.No other foreign country is not under such scrutiny.
    Ansar has clearly said that Gammon Gate was used by ALL foriegn missions.Now,new order is binding on them ALL.
    One needs to know what other countries are giving facilities to foriegn missions.Each country is required to follow diplomatic norms.

    As for Rashid Qureshi’s case,recently Indian ex-president and before Indian defence minister had to face the same music.After 9/11,America has enacted strange and derogatory laws.Nobody knows which other country has done “tit for tat”


  12. Well done Pakistan government and thank you Ansar for updating us on this important issue.


  13. Sumayyac,
    We know you are moderator at PKKH.
    Why I said PKKH is losing the direction,is that you have lifting the stories from Yellow Journalist,without confirmation.Another one is about Haqqani threatening to disclose secrets.Now Haqqani has filed a libel suit of One Crore against Nation.

    As I said before,see who is saying and what are his sinister designs before accepting this.

    We consider PKKH to be sacred to us,rather love Dan,
    and we must have a right to point out where something is going wrong.Thanks


  14. 100% change of direction strangely more coverage to Hameed Gul and other anti-Musharraf elements!!

    its really confusing.. 🙂



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