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APC’s making their way to Quetta / Waziristan? (US/NATO?)

APC being transported to Baluchistan

UPDATE I – Observers have been trying to identify this APC and best guestimates are of a long wheel base US Stryker possibly an M1135 NAB-RV [Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle]

UPDATE II – It is possible after observing the wide wheel base that this vehicle is actually a Short Range Ballistic Missle Launcher (upto 300km) resmebles the image here or here, in all likelihood this is not of Pakistan Army as teh color marking were of a muddy brown and the launcher was being transported in a private carrier without protocol and security

In a set of recently published pictures that were taken by me while I was going to Hingol, Baluchistan for a few days of offroading.  We happened to come across a transporter parked at a gas station about 2 km west of a small town called Winder some 40km away from Karachi on the RCD Highway (Karachi-Quetta).  It was a large privately owned transporter carrying a heavily draped vehicle which seemed like an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC)

The heavily draped cargo had no physical markings except a few on the back with bold letterings “Caution: Inflammable” It seemed to be a military grade Armored Personnel Carrier with a set of 8×8 heavy duty tires.  According to some experts on site and even Bilal, a commenter on this blog, this type of an APC is not available in the inventory of the Pakistan Army but is found in use with NATO or US forces.  It is my speculation that, had if the Pakistan Army, owned this APC or was transporting this cargo, they would have utilized their abundant brown colored military trailers and not be dependent on private contractors to move these to Quetta or possibly Waziristan

Reporters at France 24 spotted these pictures and had a detailed telephonic discussion with me today which can be read here in detail

It must be remembered that the official position by the United States is that it currently has no ground offensives underway in Pakistan and is at best giving other supportive measures for the War on Terror in Pakistan; even the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari is on record this week to have resisted and refused Obama’s suggestion to deploy troops in Pakistan. All these speculative conjectures come after we have heard repeated reports that over 1000 marines were brought into Pakistan to protect the “US Embassy” and at the same time a huge controversy surrounds the covert CIA operatives called Blackwater is found roaming with great immunity on the streets of Pakistan
APC being transported to Baluchistan
It is quite possible that this APC is being delivered to support the Pakistan Army in its offensive in Waziristan, but I actually fear far worse of a scenario, then what the Pakistan and the US Government might choose to share publicly.  A long history of covert offensives have plagued this War on Terror, the drone attacks in Swat from 2007 were publicly denied for 2 years until recently some responsibility has been taken by the American forces, likewise, the buildup of 1000 officially declared Marines in Islamabad declared only after a media watchdog spilled the beans.

It is my fear that the US Army is actively engaged in running even the military affairs of this War on Terror, keeping Pakistan Army at the front-end, exposing our jawans to take to the hills and suffer the consequences of military casualties, while the American manipulators give orders and commands from secured compounds

I am sick and tired of this cat and mouse game, if we are to come to a possible solution to this War on Terror, it can only be possible if all concerned parties come clean and join forces with the civilian leadership to negotiate a peaceful resolution, military offensive alone will not solve this crisis unless a simultaneous and a deliberate effort is launched to constantly engage in trying to drag the saner elements to the negotiations table and possible edge towards a peaceful resolution. 

The world stands witness to the ruthlessness of the IRA and after years of many stop-n-go peace accords did we see daylight of peace in Ireland, why cant we replicate the same here in Pakistan.  I assure you not everyone is a crazed suicide bomber, they are all humans, but probably need to be treated with dignity and respect first so that we can attempt to understand their demands, bombarding them to smithereens will only alienate them further, pushing them into even more militarization which is already proving to be a disaster for us here in Pakistan

UPDATE: Following the suggestion of Abdullah Saad on twitter this is quite possibly a US Stryker IAV vehicle and more specifically an M1135 NBC-RV [Nuclear, Chemical, Biologocial ReconnaissanceVehicle] which can accomodate 11 people [2 crew + 9 personnel] this vehicle photographed is a longer wheel base version and the extension can possible add a couple more seat for more personnel, since I am not a military expert I could be wrong in many of my assumption and will stand corrected if proven inaccurate in any technical specifications.

An eye opener for us all, someone has really upped the threat level in how to tackle the insurgence in Pakistan, I only wish that the war on terror would come clean and stop living in a state of denial


  • dr jawwad khan

    great observation!!!

    i completely agree with you that pakistan do not have any APC with "tyres" (at least i have no knowledge of these kinds of APC's)

    secondly pakistan army do not use private transport to move its military hardware….

    so what is going on????

    i believe that drama serial "NO MORE" staring mainly our civilian and military establishment is just for "SOME MORE" ….

    today i read the news that america sanctioned 8 crore dollars for drone attacks…i believe that 8 crore will be distributed well in between generals and zardari and this tv drama serial of "NO MORE" will end with happy ending…(happy for generals and zardari only)

    • skeptic

      I might add. I was traveling on the mianwali chakwal road couple of weeks ago and there seemed to me to be several tens if not hundreds of these trailers with brand new 6 wheeled vehicles green in color going on the road with no security at all (this was right along the area where Imran Khans univeristy is in the hilly area). Many were parked in the way and also in the petrol pumps there. Major mobilization going on. I dont know which vehicles but the looked like 6 wheeled trucks with some thing triangular made of cylinderical in the front.

  • An Update made on this post

    Observers have been trying to identify this APC and best guestimates are of a long wheel base US Stryker possibly an M1135 NAB-RV [Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle]

    • Faheem Mustafa

      I dont think so that its any APC or M1135 NAB-RV [Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle]because the distance b/e the rare and front wheels is much more greater than any APC or M1135 NAB-RV [Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle]has.

      Pic of M1135 can be seen on the link below. and comparison can be made easily

      http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/gr

      According to Unaiza Fatima

      it can be an MLRS WS-1B. but i dis agree coz the vehicle shown in above pic is a bit longer than the MLRS WS-1B, that Pakistan have.

      Please have a look on my work also

      http://poverty-pak.blogspot.com/2009/12/hi-i-am-f

  • Hasan Zuberi

    Dr sahab:

    My best guess it is not an APC instead it is a long vehicle missle launcher with a few also used by Pakistani Armed Forces, but certainly it is not ours … otherwise it would have not been transported on a private long-trailer.

    Having worked with officials at 4 out of 5 Defense Expo in Pakistan, I had good experience of watching these toys from touching distance.

    Here are some information to support my point of view; for your perusal.

    1- http://www.defence.pk/forums/wmd-missiles/10432-b

    Check out pics of Abdali, Shaheen I & II launchers

    2- http://wondersofpakistan.wordpress.com/2009/06/25

    Just the picture :P

    • HASAN Sb – OH MY GAWD – just saw the pictures and hell-ya it looks like a short range ballistic missle launcher OUCH –

      And yes if it were Pak Army they would have used a full official protocol which may have possibly included their own transporter and supporting vehicles

      Did we just stumble across a missle deployment of some sort? I dread to think yes

      Thanks for the insight

  • RMS Azam

    Whatever it is, its neither a Stryker APC nor an M1135. And it's definitely not a Pak Army vehicle.

    • Azam its turning out to be a Short Range Missle Launching pad – OUCH

    • Bilal

      Hello Mr. RMS Azam of Pakdef fame. Would you not agree that it is most likely a Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck of US Army being shipped in from Karachi port and in transit via truck to Afghanistan?

      You can read more about the vehicle and see some of its photos here
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_Expanded_Mobil

    • Good call, as far as I can see. I'll refer the photo to Oshkosh Corp, who make the HEMT, if I can find an appropriate email address for them. I'd hope to eliminate the "missile launcher" speculation.

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  • MALIK AMAN

    it is clearly not an apc because the distance b/w the rear and front wheels is much more that what it would had been in an apc and the flat shape end makes it more like a scud lancher.

  • MALIK AMAN

    and i wished u could have searched some more like talk to the driver or something it would have made things more interesting but any way great job

  • I would expect that this is a Pakistan military launcher which has been "liberated" by a terrorist group (or diverted by rogue PDF staff) for use in Baluchistan, So. Waziristan, or Afghanistan. That scenario seems the best explanation, as the possibility that North Atlantic forces would or could risk this kind of transport seems non existent.

    It might even end up in W. Baluchistan in the hands of anti-Iranian terrorist.

    • @ Jim: … Even with all bad news on media situation in Pakistan can not go that bleak to have militants trying their hands on such sophisticated military grade equipment.

      As for NATO / US forces using private transport …. FYI, it is a common thing here and that is why Dr Awab based his post on the assumption … There has been several incidents of US / NATO laden trucks being attacked and blown up by militants on the same route … but in the Northern Province of Pakhtounkhwa (NWFP).

    • Jim Pivonka

      Thanks for the useful information. I am aware of the problems with NATO transport, but have never thought those involved unescorted and unidentified transport vehicles of casual private haulers; I also had them stuck in my head as being on the Peshawar – Jalalabad route. I'm pretty certain I've never seen a report associated with a Baluchistan route to Quetta.

      I did not regard those cases as indicative with respect to this one, which seemed a significant outlier. Had I seen or properly located in my mind the NWFP incidents you indicate occured on this route, I might have responded differently.

      With regard to the security of mil equipment, I'll respond to Malik Aman.

  • Unaiza Fatima

    The wheels of Stryker are much closer together than this. Secondly, Stryker does nor have a windscreen as this one seems to have. In fact I do not know of any APC that actually has a "windscreen". It seems like a MLRS rather than an APC.

    Pakistan Army has similar looking MLRS systems like WS-1B.

    Enlightened?

  • From quoted facts it is clear that it does not belog to Pakistan Army. Lot many covert operation appear to be under way by USA in Pakistan, thanks to Pervez Musharraf, the the enemy of his own country

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  • MALIK AMAN

    jim i will like to differ from ur statement it seems that pakistan military arsenal is lying on playgrounds and people can come take them without any resistance i would have accepted something more appropriate from a standford guy

    • Jim Pivonka

      Based on my own, very limited experience in the USAR 45-50 years ago, the secuirng of milityary equipment is not particularily easy, and equipment does not have to be left on playgrounds for security to be breached and equipment diverted.

      I believe it is particularily dangerous to underestimate the intentions and capabilities of "syndicate" outfits comprising such as alQaeda, LET, and TET; this seems especially true when those are focused on creating maximum disruption of Pakistan's military and social structure in an effort to punish Pakistan's people for cooperation with NATO. These are not unsophisticated or unimaginative opponents; they have thier own military strategists, engineers, intel, and propaganda capabilities and intentions for their use.

      If the diversion of sophisticated military equipment for an attack on a target in a population center fit into their strategy I fear they may well have the capability to pull that diversion off; all interested parties should be concerned at the possibility, at least.

      My willingnes to consider that is not based on any implication of casual or less than fully competant security by Pakistan's military. It is based on my understanding of the capabilities and character of the threat posed by these terrorist organizations to Pakistan and the rest of the world.

  • N. Baig

    I wonder if you can provide a link to any story of drone attacks in Swat. I know that drones were used for reconnaissance purposes in Swat, but don't recall hearing or reading about drones used to deliver weapons. The ones used for reconnaissance were owned by the Pakistani army. Are you suggesting that American drones were used to bomb Swat?

  • U2

    Its not APC or Missle Launcher… It is a fuel tanker HEMTT M978.

    http://www.olive-drab.com/idphoto/id_photos_hemtt

    It's funny how we can run into speculation without even getting the facts rights.

    • Bilal

      Exactly right, my friend. I have mentioned the same vehicle chassis as the likeliest vehicle in one of my posts above.

      Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck M978

      Transport of such payloads by road to Afghanistan from Pakistan has been a routine matter for years now. Hauling cargo for US/NATO is a lucrative business for Pakistani transporters. They have multiple well-established routes to cater for northern or southern destinations in Afghanistan.

    • @U2 & Bilal – at first it seems unerringly similar BUT the back-end when I drove past the truck was flat with no visible openings (but when you say its a fuel tanker then the 'inflammable' marking make sense) – while at the same time the back end slopes far more at a sharper angle as compared to the vehicle we spotted on RCD Highway

      Looking at the pictures posted by U2 – the hump in the middle is the only visible difference

      But of all the suggestions swinging from my own casual layperson approach to the Stryker and the much juicer suggestion of the Short Range Missile Launcher – I must admit the HEMTT M978 is the closest cousin to the truck we saw

      I feel this is the beauty of the new media – it has pushed us closer to solving the mystery in a matter of 1 week Thank you

    • U2

      During Iraq War we have seen all of US Army hardware very closely here in Kuwait so it is always easy for us to indentify them….. Plus any military in the world would never transport the Missle Launchers or 1.5M$ Styker with a private transporter.

      It is always nice to be little cautious when posting about these matters as we don't need any further confusions. What our country is going through it enough….

    • Thumbs up! And thanks for the solid info & clarification.

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