U.S. Launches Container Security Project In Pakistan

Scanning technology will be tested at Port Qasim.

On April 30, the U.S launched a facility in Pakistan aimed at boosting security and speeding up the flow of goods. The international container facility has been launched at Port Qasim in the southern port city of Karachi, where U.S.-bound goods from Pakistan and Central Asia will be scanned before being shipped to the United States.

"This facility is both a preventive tool in the global war on terror that will make our borders safer and will also increase the economic efficiency of Pakistani exports," U.S. Charge dAffaires Peter W. Bodde said.

As a joint effort with the Pakistan government, the facility would test the feasibility of using scanning technology to inspect every container bound for the U.S., he said. "It will also increase the security of the international supply chain for shippers utilizing Port Qasim," he added.

Pakistan's ports and shipping minister Babar Ghauri said the new system would boost trade and security between Pakistan and the U.S. and another system would be installed at Karachi port.

Pakistan, a key U.S. ally in the global fight against terrorism, has arrested more than 700 Al-Qaeda fugitives who fled to the country after the fall of hard line Taliban regime in neighboring Afghanistan. The South Asian country provided the U.S. forces with its airbases and intelligence to oust the Taliban regime after the September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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