Sunday, 27 November 2011

Secret of Shamsi Base revealed as closure ordered


Ahmad Noorani
Sunday, November 27, 2011


ISLAMABAD: Shamsi Airbase was the major operational centre for US drones that was given to UAE which sublet it to American forces to launch attacks on targets in the tribal areas.

In the in camera session of the parliament the top military authorities had admitted that Shamsi Airbase was given to UAE by the government and now it turns out that it was in the use of the US and has been asked to be shut down. There were also reports that the notorious Blackwater people also remained stationed at Shamsi.

Shamsi Airbase was first given to the US by the Musharraf government under secret agreements after the 9/11 attacks. Some of media outlets had also published pictures of US drones parked at the base in 2004-05.
When the Musharraf regime was asked by the media to explain the pictures, US and Pakistani spokesmen had explained that the drones parked were used only for landing at the base, and not in the attacks. It was a ridiculous explanation as landings could not happen unless the planes took off with missiles to fire at Pakistani targets.

Some other airbases were also given to US forces immediately after the 9/11 when US forces attacked Afghanistan and a Nato website had then revealed, by mistake, that some 59,000 sorties took off from Pakistani bases to attack the Taliban government in Afghanistan in three months and hundreds of thousands of tons of bombs were dropped by aircraft which used Pakistani soil.

The cutting off of Nato supply through Pakistan will hit the major sources of furnishing all kind of goods ranging from oil to food, weapons to fuel for Nato forces fighting against Afghans.
The supplies are shipped to the Karachi port from where these are loaded on big Nato tankers and transported to Afghanistan through roads of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Pakistan had also blocked Nato supplies in October 2010 after a Nato helicopter strike, which had killed three soldiers then. However, after some calls from Washington and reported apologies both military and civilian leadership had reopened the supply line in a few days.

Most of Nato supplies mostly comprising big tankers and trucks are also sitting targets of anti-US fighters inside Pakistan.