Stranded NATO supplies clogging Pak sea ports

Pak authorities are facing a major problem of clogging at two sea ports due to blockade of NATO supplies.

Updated: Dec 11, 2011, 16:25 PM IST

Karachi: Pakistani authorities are facing a
major problem of clogging at two sea ports as a blockade on
NATO supplies to Afghanistan has meant that as many as 1200
military vehicles and 2,000 containers have been stranded at
the facilities for almost 15 days.

The Karachi port and the bin Qasim terminal, also at
Karachi, are being occupied by the stranded supplies after the
government said it would not allow transit to NATO supplies
following the Mohmand air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani
soldiers.

According to `Dawn` daily, since the embargo was imposed
after the November 26 attack in Mohmand agency, four container
ships and two vehicle carriers have unloaded around 2,000
boxes and 1200 military vehicles at the two sea ports.
This has clogged the container terminals at both ports.
"Since November 26th two vehicle carriers unloaded 400
and 800 military vehicles belonging to the US army," the
report said.
It said before the embargo was imposed, already over 600
containers and oil tankers were to go to Afghanistan via
Torkham and Chaman. These containers and tankers too are now
stranded at the border as the government has not allowed them
to cross the border.

"They are there for 16-days now in the chilly and cold
weather," a port source said.

Sources said that security forces have also held back
scores of Afghan transit trade containers on way to
Afghanistan on the suspicion of carrying NATO goods at Takhta
Beg check post in Jamrud.

The report said that if the large number of NATO
containers and tankers were not removed soon from the two
ports, there will hardly be any space left for movement of
commercial cargo and this would badly affect the country`s
imports and exports.

"There is a daily flow of containers coming with goods
booked by merchants from the China market," one source said.

The report said that since ports are meant to be transit
points and not for storage, the government would have to
immediately decide on the removal of the containers from ports
that have clogged up traffic and trade.
Three days back unidentified gunmen set on fire 42 NATO
containers and oil tankers in Quetta in the Balochistan
province.

PTI