Pakistan government has withdrawn a special concession whereby US officials and diplomats were allowed to travel without their baggage being checked at the international airport here in the wake of several incidents of American personnel being detained with unlicensed weapons.
The concession was offered to US officials and diplomats by former President Pervez Musharraf after the 9/11 terror attacks. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued orders for withdrawing the facility at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport from October 15.
Under the concession, US officials and their vehicles “enjoyed unchecked arrivals and departures” and their luggage was not scrutinised at the airport, ‘The News´ daily reported today.
The decision to withdraw the concession was made by the Defence Ministry, which controls the CAA.
Earlier, US and UN officials were allowed to enter and leave the airport through a gate earmarked for food catering services without passing through immigration and customs checks.
The newspaper quoted its sources as saying that the facility was “massively misused” and there were reports of “unauthorised and undeclared import of sensitive material and equipment, including weapons.” This caused alarm among Pakistani authorities and forced them to withdraw the facility, the sources said.