Last week while traveling to Islamabad for a personal visit I noticed this jet parked on the tarmac near the PAF sheds, little did I think again about the airplane until I read a blog post by Omar R Quraishi who also happened to notice this plane while he was jet-setting to Lahore for a day, upon his return he put his journalistic talents to use and Googled out some concerning facts.
Meridian Airways previously known as Air Charter Express is being used by British Ministry of Defense from RAF Lyneham base and may also be engaged in flying to Afghanistan as well. With extensive involvement of the US and British forces in Pakistan, it might be as simple as a routine trip to Pakistan shipping supplies to the American forces in Pakistan and Afghanistan. But Omar logically deduced some similarity with CIA covert rendition program to say
The plane looked very similar to other aircraft that have appeared in news stories every now and then on the whole so-called ‘rendition’ programme in which the CIA uses private aircraft to ferry prisoners to various countries where they are then interrogated so that US laws regarding prisoners and torture don’t have any bearing.
We know for a fact that the US has in the past smuggled out a number of Pakistani nationals out of Pakistan, so I too would be worried as to why this jet is being operated in Pakistan it being suspicious parked behind three PAF Jets at the Karachi Airport, Omar Quraishi rightfully questions
Who came on it? What was it being used for? And how many such planes use Karachi airport in a week? A month? We are taxpayers and our taxes go to pay for installations such as Karachi airport and for the salaries of the air traffic controllers who interact and guide these planes to land — surely we need to know –who is going to tell us this?