[Excellent report from eyewitness in Peshawar, detailing precisely the criminal negligence of both Pakistani and American governments in their transshipment of hazardous materiels (fuel, explosives and weaponry) through the narrow crowded back roads of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Not only is Pakistan forced to submit to American demands upon it, but the people of Pakistan are paid in the currency of suffering and death for their peaceful acceptance of these outrages. Thanks Dr. Yusafzai.]
Dr. Khurrum Shaukat Yusafzai.
When, Hillary Clinton and President Obama called the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karazai. They were talking about Afghan Transit Trade. Afghanistan is Land Locked country, it does not have a Seaport, and it is totally dependant upon the seaports of Pakistan for its basic needs like fuel , food and medicines and other Essential of Life and as well as other imports .
Even the Total NATO and ISAF fuel, food, and other Essential and Military hardware about 96% is being transported to Afghanistan from Pakistan.
The Recent Frantic moves by American Establishment, which has been running from Pillar to Post towards the CIS countries of Kyrgyzstan, to Tajikistan and to most importantly to Georgia. Only avoiding the, State of Iran only.
US is trying to establish an alternate route, which is expensive and difficult to coordinate, as it is lengthier and difficult to man as it involves many Governments, as opposed to a single one, which is Pakistan.
Recently the Pakistani routes which are 2/3rd of Total to Afghanistan , running from the Khyber Pass through the Khyber Agency of FATA and then entering the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan.
1/3 rd from Chaman Pass , through Province of Balauchistan Province of Pakistan and entering Afghanistans Kandhar Region which is difficult too as the convoys are hit by ambushes in Kandhar region too often by Taliban.
As 70% of the Total, supply of NATO and ISAF and whole Afghanistan is dependent upon the route of Khyber Agency, the Khyber Pass. This Highlights the Extreme importance of Khyber Pass and the road, which links the Karachi Port to Khyber Pass.
After the Military and Non-Military Cargo which Unloads at Karachi Port, from Ships at Karachi Port, then it is loaded on trucks and then Transported from Sindh Province then Moves to the Punjab Province.
From Punjab Province then it enters the NWFP (North-Western Frontier Province), at the Attock, ultimately ending at Peshawar the last city of NWFP (North-Western Frontier Province), on way to Afghanistan.
From the Last City NWFP, the Peshawar City, it enters the, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Khyber Agency, at City of Jamrud, which is bordering city of Khyber Agency with Peshawar city of NWFP, Just a , few Kilometers Apart.
The roads ultimately goes to Famous Khyber Pass and then towards Landikotal check Post, the last International Border post of Pakistan, as it enters the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan.
Before the Road Traffic Enters the Khyber agency at Jamrud, it has to pass through the City of Peshawar. The city of Peshawar has only one road that connects it to Jamrud city of Khyber agency FATA called the Jamrud Road.
Jamrud Road is cramped with Traffic and with cars, which are bumper to bumper from Morning to Midnight even on weekends.
As there was a ring Road Planned all around, the Peshawar in Late 80,s and that is not reached completion stage even now in 2009, as both the Northern Part of Bypass road has not reached Jamrud yet and the Southern Fails to Reach Jamrud as well .
Although these By Passes are known as Ring Road , but it does not form a ring around the City of Peshawar and ring is just a small Crescent.
The Southern Bypass of the Ring Road, which passes through Hayatabad, Peshawar a Posh Residential area where all the Richer lot of Peshawarites Live. It passes through Streets and Roads of Hayatabad Town ship.
The Heavy Trucks, which carry, sometime the Military hardware meant for war on Terrorism, the Humvees Military Jeeps, as well as Huge Tanks on Civilian Trucks, which are used by US army ISAF and NATO. Pass through the Streets of these Residential areas. It presents a strange sight. As they pass through Small Streets in Between the Children schools and Small Peaceful houses.
The Road then Enters the Phase -2 of Hayatabad Town Ship and then it passes in Front of Main Central Park of Hayatabad and then Phase-4 of Haytabad Township and then joins the Jamrud road to enter the Jamrud City of Khyber Agency.
Hence there is no Proper Road existing which Connects the, M1- Motorway, coming from Karachi Port, and ending at Peshawar Khyber Pass exiting to Afghanistan.
The Semi- Crescent Ring Road.
As this Ring Road is the only route to Afghanistan and it Transports, all the 2/3 rds whatever is consumed by whole Afghanistan, which is extreme Important to that country and to NATO and to ISAF.
If one closes this road, the War on Terror, the Afghan Government all can be brought to it knees literally.
Blockage of this road can lead to rising of Prices of Commodities, in the whole country of Afghanistan, Blockage of this Road can stop the fuel supply lines to NATO and USA, it can stop the Jets, and Helicopters to stop from flying as there will be no fuel. Seriously Denting the Effort of US.
As this is so very possible, still the Government of Pakistan has failed to construct it even after 200 to 300 Million in Aids, given specifically for this to Gen- Musharaf to construct the road links to FATA.
This kind of lack of Planning and implementation can lead to serious disastrous and Human Misery to many many People.
One the Southern Bypass of the Ring Road, which passes through Hayatabad, Peshawar something, happened on 13 July of this month, which was both harrowing and sad. On that fateful day, it was 5 Am, and many people were peacefully sleeping in their homes.
A fuel Tanker was Just Passing through the Streets of Posh Haytabad Town Ships just as it neared the Portion of road where there was hump created by Road which had caved in because of Heavy traffic for which the Town ship roads were not designed.
The Fuel Tanker, which was coming, in, from Islamabad after filling its Tanker with Jet Aviation fuel. The Fuel was filled in at Attock Refinery. The driver and one helper drove fuel-laden truck. These Contracts of Trucks are, handled by NLC, National Logistic Cell of the Pakistan Army.
The truck when reached Hayatabad, it Blew out with a big Bang which shook the whole Hayatabad town and Resident of Hayatabad jumped out of their beds. A time bomb or some device probably was attached to the truck was responsible for Blasting the Fuel Tanker or may be it is Rocket Propelled Grenade the RPG-7 , I asked the Drivers Mr . Hakimat Ullah about the Incident, he told me that he has no idea what had happened.
He just heard the bang and the Trailer Tanker, which was filled with Fuel, had exploded, and all he could see that his rear-end was a Big Ball of Fire and he was towing the large Hind Part which on Fire.
The Intense Heat made Hakimat Ullah and His co Driver to jump out of the Tanker to save their Life. The Tanker was On Fire and nearby there was houses, which also caught fire, and then the next one and a whole Block of Hayatabad Township were on Fire.
The Trees Burned, Birds dropped dead and were burned with Extreme heat, the fire burned the Nearby Houses on Both Sides of The road. The Metal front gates were on Fire too.
The Fire Destroyed the Houses, just Near the Fuel Tanker was on the Road, in that house, luckily many occupants had left the House and were in Hospital to see their Daughter the two sons of Mr Anwar were sleeping the House. As the fire engulfed the House, his son could feel the heat and Air conditioner was melting in Front of His Eyes.
He ran out of the house, but the gate was on Fire too and he could not touch the Handle to open it as it was too hot and it was stuck because of the heat. Both sons of owner of the House jumped out of the House by scaling the Wall by doing some quick thinking.
Right Next to the House there was Hostel where the College students, who were residing in the house as they were studying for the Exams. They all came running out of the House and save their Lives. It was a Miracle that all the people were saved.
The fire, which engulfed the whole Areas of Hayatabad Town ship of Peshawar, it is a Criminal Negligence of the Government of Pakistan, which is allowing these Transports to Move between, the Haytabad Township streets. There is a complete disregard of the Lives of people of Hayatabad Peshawar , who are completely exposed, to these Dangers.
As this Incident happened at 5 Am, in the Morning it Saved the Lives of Many, people who were not on the road. The children were not at the schools and on the roads, as this saved many lives or it could have been a great Tragedy.
The Whole house of Mr. Anwar was destroyed and Gutted, He says that from whom he can claim the damages. His House His Money, his furniture, His Car and many Things burned.
As the Fuel Tanker, although impounded by the Hayatabad Police, at the Station, with a case registered against it, Belongs to Just a Poor Sub-contractor, who just owns one Tanker only, and he would be out of business for next one year for no fault of his.
Mr. Anwar House completely Gutted
The Sub-Contractor, then works for another Civilian Contractor, that civilian contractor work for NLC (National logistic Cell), this is a logistic Company run by Pakistan Military and its officers in Uniform and Serving.
The Dilemma of Mr. Anwar is this, whom should he approach for the Damages. The Sub-Contractors who is very poor chap, and he is unable to pay but his tanker is apprehended by Police, or should he approach the Contractor who is a middle man, who is working for the NLC .
Should, the owner of the House approach the Un-touchables Army Chaps,
Yes the Untouchables the Pakistan Army, and its Department of logistics, the NLC (National Logistic Cell).
And there is another twist to the Story , the goods being Transported belongs to USA , yes the Jet fuel for Aero planes of USA , which was being carried in the Oil tankers. These are dangerous goods and were Transferred without any Proper Precautions and proper Standing Orders and there in no Road there on top of it take it to Afghanistan.
The Criminal Negligence has the Involvement of ISAF and the NATO and the US Government too.
As this Contract, for ISAF and USA and the NATO who own the Fuel, hence the Damages have to borne by them too, as they are responsible too. All this will be off-course decided at some point in time.
All Unanswered questions, has to be answered, but there are no Answers now!
A complete Disregard of Life exists for the People of Hayatabad and Peshawar. This is expected, from the Government of Punjabi and by the Punjabis. As long as it is not happening in Punjab, it is OK for Government for Pakistan.
Another Strange twist to the story is this that, these contracts are not brought, to Open in Pakistan and its media. The Government is completely, mum about these contracts and the foreign office has denied about these contracts too.
The people have suffered and will suffer again, but this Anomaly has to be addressed quickly.
What if there were schoolchildren had been , there as the Children Schools were nearby but were closed that day, nobody has thought about it. What if there were many cars filled with Innocent Passengers. I shudder with the Thought of it and Government of Pakistan sleeps on it, as if business as usual.
The In Competent, Minster of the State, for Communication of the Government of Pakistan, Mr. Arbab Alamgir. Who is aloof from the Problems of this very important problem of His city Peshawar, to which he belongs?
Dr. Khurrum Shaukat Yusafzai.