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Photo shows a view of the Supreme Court's Karachi registry.
Photo shows a view of the Supreme Court's Karachi registry.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.—File Photo
Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry.—File Photo

KARACHI: The Director General of the Sindh Rangers Maj-Gen Rizwan Akhtar on Friday informed the Supreme Court that around 19,000 shipping containers containing weapons and vehicles had gone missing during the tenure of the former minister for ports and shipping.

A five-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry, and comprising of Justices Jawwad S. Khawaja, Gulzar Ahmed, Athar Saeed and Azmat Saeed, was hearing the implementation of its judgment in the Karachi law and order case.

The chief justice directed authorities to submit a report on the illegal smuggling and theft of duty at Karachi’s seaports within the next seven days.

The chief justice also formed a one-member commission, comprising former Curtoms Collector Ramzan Bhatti, and ordered the Federal Bureau of Revenue (FBR) to fully cooperate with the commission in investigating smuggling activities at the ports.

The court also ordered Nadra to complete its task of weapons registration in the shortest possible time.

Friday’s hearing – the third consecutive hearing of the case held at the Karachi registry –was attended by top government officials including the Inspector General Sindh, Additional IG, three Zonal IGs, DG Rangers Sindh Rizwan Akhtar and the Chief Secretary, along with other top official of the Sindh government.

During the previous day’s proceedings, the chief justice had noted that a large quantity of arms and ammunition were being smuggled into Karachi through ports and supplied throughout the country.

He had also pointed towards reports of about 19,000 containers containing weapons and vehicles that had gone missing, and had asked DG Rangers Rizwan Akhtar to submit further details on the disappearance.

Presenting his report, Akhtar informed the bench today that the matter of the missing containers was now a few years old and that they had disappeared during the tenure of the former minister for ports and shipping.

Akhtar said that the weapons were taken to the tribal areas and then brought back to the port city. He said that National and Super highways and Hub routes were used in their transportation.

He informed the bench that there were ‘hundreds of routes’ between Sindh and Balochistan where there were several security check-posts but no law enforcement personnel to man them.

The DG Rangers said that illegally smuggled weapons previously of the US military troops in Afghanistan were also recovered in Waziristan when he was serving in the restive tribal region.

The DG Rangers also told the court that 78 per cent of the illegal weapons being used in Karachi were foreign-manufactured. He said these included AK-47s and 9mm guns, which were mainly used in murder crimes in the city.

Akhtar also pointed to the lack of proper monitoring at the ports. He said that there was need for scanners as properly scanning thousands of containers was a very difficult task.

The bench had also summoned the Chief Secretary to the court.

When asked how many CCTV cameras were presently installed in the city, the Chief Secretary told the bench that 1200 cameras were currently placed in different parts of Karachi.

However, of these, a majority were in need of repair while the rest have been put up in such a way that they are unable to show any clear footage of the area.

Regarding the difficulties of effectively implementing security in Karachi, the CJ ordered that the proper installation of CCTV cameras in different parts of the city be completed as soon as possible.

After being assured by the Sindh and Federal government, the bench adjourned proceedings until September 18, ordering the Advocate General and the Attorney General to submit their progress reports at the next hearing.

Comments (79) Closed

Turbo Aug 30, 2013 04:34pm

would you mind naming the former minister for ports and shipping?

Anonymous Aug 30, 2013 05:07pm

19,000 containers of ammunition missing. Are you kidding me???

Bilal Aug 30, 2013 05:29pm

Wonder why the owners of 19000 containers never complained. By all counts that's a fairly large number

Amir Aug 30, 2013 05:52pm

What was the Director General doing during the tenure of the former govt facilitating the culprits in acquiring 19,000 containers filled with arms. Did he made any efforts to stop the crime because that is what he was payed for? Do we believe in Rizq e Halal ain ibadat hai?

Magister Aug 30, 2013 06:01pm

Why not go after the supplier? The ships didn't just show up on the port for no reason? There must be a supplier and a buyer. But as comrade Lenin once said never open a can of worms for everything is connected to everything else. I guess the country is gearing up for a serious show of arms? May Lord have mercy!

Khaqan Ahmed Aug 30, 2013 06:17pm

Peace is like a dream in Karachi....

Khaqan Ahmed

Aysha Aug 30, 2013 06:20pm

What is the name of that former minister of ports and shipping??? Is dawn scared to pulish that?

pakiboy Aug 30, 2013 06:21pm

who is DG rangers to answer city law and order matters ?? .. where is police ? .. and can this DG rangers can get to dara adam khel ? .. and where is he before this .. this all again the same kind of stories manufactured again .. Allah in jhooton par azab nazil karay .. ameen

Arshad Aug 30, 2013 06:42pm

Why do they say the containers went missing during the tenure of FORMER minister, why don't they say it was MQM minister? Who are they trying to protect now?

Nizamuddin Ali Ahmad Aug 30, 2013 06:45pm

19,000 multiplied by 100,000 equals lot of guns and high powered rifles. The collector of customs should have been sleeping on the switch. How about the IG police of Karachi. All this sound like excuse. Intel. agencies should find in double.

munsif Aug 30, 2013 07:13pm

is our country's authorities like customs and police, etc are based on lie and hypocrisy. what happened when first batch 5000 containers went missing. then 10000, 15000 and later 19000.

arms are available in the bazzar, and at licensed shops. so what kind of weapons were in containers. even guns with telescope are also available,

what was peshawar in general zia's regime. there were hundreds of arms factories in NWFP, now what is the current no. of such factories in NWFP.

I have submitted a complaint to IG police , DG rangers, anti-terrorism court about few goons in a street of posh locality, but they talk big.

Gul Khan Aug 30, 2013 07:27pm

Why everyone is running scared to mention the name of former federal minister for ports and shipping?. Now it is confirmed that Karachi is the main Hub for supply of illegal arms probably from the same stolen containers. It is high time to stop blaming solely KPK and FATA for it

pathanoo Aug 30, 2013 07:45pm

In Pakistan, Court Proposes and Politician (s) disposes. Nothing will change because both are thoroughly corrupt and venal.

mba Aug 30, 2013 08:22pm

Main apne Khoon ke Quatre khan talasch karoon Tamam Shaer ne pahne huven hain dastane. Mor weapons, more killings, more sorrowness. Poor country / corrupt and mismanaged authorities - a lethal combination. Why we accuse foreign countries for our misdeads! We are more than self-suffiecient when it comes to destroy our own country & killing our "Hamwatan" Muslim Brothers.

mazharuddin Aug 30, 2013 08:30pm

All, pillars of government are responsible for such crime. There need to have to be trial of all responsible head of each government institution that directly or indirectly involved in this heinous crime including political parties. It seem that most responsible only having interest in dollar money and seem foreign agent as they failed to apprehend killers in Karachi or at other places.

i hope Chief Justice will take appropriate action and all responsible will get their trial.

waseem Aug 30, 2013 08:34pm

Over 80.000 US weapons had been 'lost' by American Forces in Afghanistan till 2011. Just a food for thought.......

If someone needs an authority, I can provide that...otherwise just google it..

Sheikh Aug 30, 2013 08:40pm

Is that why MQM is always vying for the Ports and Shipping ministry?

Rahi Aug 30, 2013 08:57pm

No wonder former minister of ports and shipping became a tycon in Karachi... every property from Sakhi hassan to nazimabad road can only be sold to him or his front-man (may be thtas true about other prime locations of karachi) ... all the North Nazimabad parks are (almost) gone ... his family members and relatives of 'shuhda'/martyrs are enjoying a comfortable living here (not sure about after)

ali ahmed Aug 30, 2013 09:09pm

D.G.Rangers gave wrong statement in s.c....already it was investigated by Dr.Shoaib suddle when commission was set by C.J.P..interview and report published in Dawn.. how can operation by rangers will be impartial when D.G.Rangers is giving wrong statement

shakil Adil Aug 30, 2013 09:27pm

good job Asif bhai

arif Aug 30, 2013 09:52pm

@Anonymous: It is Pakistan everything possible . Former Port Minister should be summon in court for testimony.

arif Aug 30, 2013 09:51pm

@Turbo: A lazy man or corrupt man

Fazii Aug 30, 2013 09:53pm

It is not the responsibility of the minister of ports and shipping to transport the containers from Karachi to Afghanistan. He is only responsible for clearing the items, collecting duty etc etc.

In fact it is DG rangers himself who should have guaranteed the security of containers within Karachi/Sindh

karachi Aug 30, 2013 09:58pm

@Turbo: I guess it was babar ghori from mqm

malik asghar nawaz Aug 30, 2013 10:02pm

Why do we have such an open ended reporting and that is too in Dawn, my word can't just say at least who were heading the port, police, etc. learn reporting man, how many yrs it will take us to do honest reporting.........................................$$$

tahir khayam Aug 30, 2013 10:29pm

how is this possible?in the presence of law enforcement agencies.l9000 container missing having massive weapon including a47 guns.the question arires weather govet is the part that game or spectetor the game being playing in karachi?

Asif Aug 30, 2013 10:35pm

Not a supporter of MQM but can't understand what a minister has to do with clearing containers from the port? Who was consignee and how custom clearing was done?

A. Khan Aug 30, 2013 10:34pm

Well, that explains all the weapons floating around the country. Even Shahid Afridi was posing with a US Army sniper rifle during a TV show claiming he loves target practice. I wonder who supplied him that weapon.

Its not difficult to round up weapons and punish the people who have these. The government needs to have and show some spine.

Asif Aug 30, 2013 10:37pm

@Turbo: What minister has to do with custom clearing?

zia khan Aug 30, 2013 10:52pm

Kashmala tariq & other members of the committee that was formed during the PPP rule to investigate the disappearance of containers should also be summoned. The government should seriously investigate and shut this floodgate of corruption and Terrorism at Karachi Port.

Sajjad Choudhry Aug 30, 2013 10:53pm

@Turbo: Babar Ghouri from MQM

Ahmed Saeed Aug 30, 2013 10:57pm

@Amir: DG Rangers has no authority over ships and smuggling. Why don't you ask the same question from Zardari and Altaf. It was their Government and they were running the show. Don't blame unnecessarily the LEAs who are just pawns.

Mahmood Khan Aug 30, 2013 10:58pm

@Amir: the DG serves under interior ministry and takes orders from them, and i think u know who the interior minister was. the game is much bigger than u think sir.

Tariq Mehsud Aug 30, 2013 11:04pm

And the minister for ports and shipping was he Pakistani or an alien.

Shah N. Khan Aug 30, 2013 11:16pm

DG Rangers report is unsatisfactory. Why police, rangers and intelligence agencies could not check theft and smuggling of lethal arms? Has smuggling of arms been stopped and have all the illegal weapons in Karachi recovered? If not why not and how long it will take?

Gerry D'Cunha Aug 30, 2013 11:31pm

what an irrelevant statement from the Director General of the Sindh Rangers Maj-Gen Rizwan Akhtar in the supreme court and as Amir rightly says in his comments - What was the Director General doing during the tenure of the former govt facilitating the culprits in acquiring 19,000 containers filled with arms. He should be sacked immediately for not catching the culprits

Aamir Aug 30, 2013 11:59pm

@Turbo: What difference it make who was the minister, prime minister, president etc. at that time....your job is to investigate and bring solid evidence to show who is responsible for that...if you can not do your job than please do not tell us stories

asim Aug 31, 2013 12:04am

If he has such a precise number then he must know where they are gone.

Arifq Aug 31, 2013 12:42am

Container story never verified allegedly occurred in 2011, what about the weapons smuggled into Karachi in the from 1980-2010? Can someone inform Rip Van Winkle of Supreme Court Karachi/Pakistan has been burning from the 80's

Azhar Khan Aug 31, 2013 01:16am

@Amir: ITs not DG Rangers Job to look for thousands of containers disappeared by this minsiter of shipping. Its Sindh Govt job. PPP is always happy in rewarding the thieves who are in majority in their ranks and their allies. Why not take this minister to task. Also, DG Ranger has been there only for over an year while that corrupt minister and the most corrupt govt of PP was there for five years. Just to put the perspective right for all those who think there politicians are earning Rizq e Halal and for those who just out of fashion accuse the Law Enforcement agencies .....

Arsalan Aug 31, 2013 01:28am

The arms were meant for NATO forces in Afghanistan. So the sender was US government with approval from Pakistan government. A number of shipments were ambushed and stolen during transit to Afghanistan. And of course nobody was watching if they were really stolen or arranged to be stolen.

raza ali Aug 31, 2013 01:37am

ex minister babar ghori. Y don't the courts take action against mqm .

Tojo Aug 31, 2013 01:42am

Everybody is corrupt and everyone is involved. The entire culture of the nation has to change.

Khalil Aug 31, 2013 01:47am

Normally Dawn would name even a by stander in their reports! How come the former ministers name is not mentioned here???? Dawn is palying into this conspiracy

Rahil Kidwai Aug 31, 2013 01:50am

19000 containers missing are you kidding me. Its not like you go for shopping, put some containers in your basket, pay cash and go home without any trace. If you know 19000 containers are missing then you know other details as well like shipping documents, buyer, seller, transporter, consignee, and what not. Although Karachi is a very big city but still you can count the entry / exit points on your finger tips. These containers must have passed through them, they just can't go off route.

Javid Aug 31, 2013 01:49am

What a joke Mr. Akhtar? How much you made out of it ?

Azam Aug 31, 2013 01:52am

19000 containers missing and for few years? What the hell?

A Shah Aug 31, 2013 01:57am

19'000 containers? I hope that's a joke!

Omar S Aug 31, 2013 02:25am

@Turbo: MQM's guy BABAR GHAURI was the former minister of port.

Abbas Aug 31, 2013 02:29am

@Turbo: Babar Khan Ghauri - former Minister for Ports and Shipping

Tausif Raza Aug 31, 2013 02:31am

Former Minister for Ports and Shipping, Babar Ghauri, belongs to MQM...

Sohail Aslam Aug 31, 2013 02:34am

Then minister for Ports and Shipping was MQM star Babar Ghauri

Riaz Murtaza Aug 31, 2013 02:39am

What is our Intelligence Agencies and Army doing ! What are they paid for ! Are they sleeping !

fida sayani Aug 31, 2013 03:26am

@Turbo:Who was the minister. Why he and his subordinates are not put up for trial for smuggling, crime against the country and for treason.

ailly Aug 31, 2013 03:49am

i believe they are referring to Babar Ghauri of MQM............. the lynch-pin to such smuggling and disappearances of containers with ammo.

Boss Aug 31, 2013 04:04am

@Turbo: Baber Khan Ghouri

imran Aug 31, 2013 04:13am

@Turbo: google it.. you will reach 90...

Nasir Aug 31, 2013 04:23am

@Turbo: Babar ghauri of mqm

Syed Ahmed Aug 31, 2013 04:46am

Ex-Minister of Ports and Shipping is stated to have bought lot of property abroad, it is the talk if the town.

ali Aug 31, 2013 04:57am

19000 containers is not something that you can put in your pocket and hide DG Akhtar even knows what route they took and where they went so why didi he not taken any action, this obviously was a well planned operation with many involved even the cctv were either made sure are not working or put their directions in such a way that they would not catch movements the stolen containers.It is obvious that this theft took place to support anarchy, murder bank robberies kidnapping in short to create chaos in the country.This is a very serious crime, the ex minister should be put on ECL forthwith along with all other suspects and the people should demand a thorough inquiry and the culprits be given maximum punishment.

Amer Aug 31, 2013 05:14am

see how far it goes...all of them are corrupt right to their bone marrow.

arif Aug 31, 2013 05:39am

Fake or made up nbr of cntrs, i am in shipping/maritime for the last 13 years and know for the fact that many shipping line carriers restrict carrying arms/ammunition cargo worldwide. It could be only 9 or 19 cntrs only and not 19000 cntrs.

HM Aug 31, 2013 05:51am

@Turbo: MQM's Babar Ghauri I suppose...

Sarwat Aug 31, 2013 05:59am

Well bring the Karachi Port trust employees, and officers and the mentioned minister to the book. Beat the details out of them, confiscate every thing they have in their and their family members name, throw them in jails for a very long time. Does anyone have the guts to do that. If SC is really serious about clean up they have to be harsh in their sentences, and then make sure that these orders are followed through if not there will be grave consequences for the person/s who drops the ball. Pakistan needs to be locked down for people who break the laws of these magnitude. God save Pakistan, long live Pakistan.

harvey Aug 31, 2013 06:17am

@Anonymous: Why it make u wonder, my friend. Every thing is possible in Pakistan.

Yawar Aug 31, 2013 06:25am

"Akhtar said that the weapons were taken to the tribal areas and then brought back to the port city." What a severe backfire for the CJ and PML-N.

fahim Aug 31, 2013 08:52am

This guy is just bluffing. 19 K containers missing ! impossible. This is just finger pointing. Obviously, he did not carry out his duty to protect innocent Pakistanis.

Syed Australia Aug 31, 2013 10:48am

@Amir: Why the Director General during the past tenure has not been apprehended uptil now on such a large scale of containers with arms and ammunition missing from the port its not a small crime. A mobile snatcher on the street get apprehended and punished immediately whereas such crimes go unnoticed I guess the system need a big overhaul.

sabeeh omer Aug 31, 2013 10:49am

How come 19,000 containers go missing and not a whisper heard. The Minister for ports , the IG Police and DG Rangers at that time and all custom officials concerned should be hanged at every round about in Karachi. Let's see who dare repeat this again!

Amir Aug 31, 2013 10:54am

@Turbo: Senator Babar Khan Ghori of MQM was the Minister for Ports and Shipping during Zardari Govt. I am sure every one knows that but I don't think the director general or any other govt official has courage to touch him.

zafar Iqbal Aug 31, 2013 01:08pm

Did the consignee ever complain to the concern authority for the loss/miss of the container ? not one or two 19000 containers gone missing ,it looks a great joke !

Chanakya Aug 31, 2013 02:39pm

Your very own MQM's Babar Ghori is the FORMER PORTS N SHIPPING Minister.

vijaychennai Aug 31, 2013 02:56pm

Here 250 files pertaining to coal scam are missing and the reason given by the officials is that the files were kept in a vertical position and hence could not tracked/traced

kashif A Aug 31, 2013 02:58pm

WOW! another conspiracy brewing. How tactfully they use that during the specific ministers tenure all this happened. funny thing is that container is not a match box that it went missing and now one knew where it went. What was the rangers and other authorities doing? were they controlled by this so called minister also?? how come he is revealing this now?

Pizza Lover Sep 01, 2013 02:14pm

@Turbo: The name of the honourable minister is Babar Ghauri

falooda Sep 02, 2013 01:19am

Money overcomes all hurdles in Pakistan!!

falooda Sep 02, 2013 01:29am

In Pakistan HAVE gun or RISHWAT... every door is open..... US containers 19000 cannot be hijacked without the express consent of the LAW enforcement AGENCIES( HA HA CROOKS) Result... Taliban are Kings... and the people of Pakistan suffer. Falooda

ali ahmed Sep 02, 2013 09:32am

Where were our intelligence agencies when all that was happening! This is simply a lame excuse. The weapons and arms are coming from Northern Pakistan. All this stuff crosses from check posts located on the way and managed by these agencies. What technology do these weapon mafia use that blinds our so called professional intelligence agencies?

abdul wahab sheikh Sep 02, 2013 03:10pm

Well...may i ask how many criminals have been caught after clearly being shown to have committed the crime on why waste money..