The U.S. Army has published a Request for Proposal for the Design and Build of a Tactical Command and Operations Center (TCOC) compound at the Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, Pakistan – The proposal identifies that it is being built for the Pakistan Customs & Drug Enforcement Cell, the two 2-story buildings proposed near the airport will be for the offices and interrogation/detention cell to be built within 365 days at an estimated cost of ~$ 2,000,000
What must be of serious concern for Pakistan is to note that its not a general US development fund sponsoring this activity but takes place under the US Army, which is actively involved in various military activities in Pakistan to now sponsor the development of an outpost near the airport allowing it strategic positioning for possible movement of US Forces in and out of Karachi.
The US Embassy issued a press release stating “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers only role is to oversee the award of the contract for the project to a private construction firm and supervise its implementation. No U.S. military or other USG personnel will be involved in the actual construction, operation, or staffing of this center, which will be exclusively owned and operated by the Government of Pakistan.“
Somehow turbulent & deceptive relationships with the United States of America makes Pakistanis second guess their actual intentions moving away from public deceptive posturing ranging from consistent Drone attacks, to the much controversial Raymond Davis issue and quite many other strategic invasion into the Sovereignty of Pakistan, make Pakistanis seriously doubt most of their activities. A US Army funded project, being built adjacent to a sensitive location, is a controversy that the US Govt should have done without, but it continues to do so.
Despite the apparent PR effort by the US Embassy to try and diffuse the controversy, Pakistani will continue to eye this project with serious concern, if its actually Drugs they are after, common sense would urged them to focus on the actual drug trade route that mostly originates along the 2,430 km long Pakistan-Afghanistan which by UNODC estimates accounts for 40% of drug smuggling route into Pakistan. The Karachi Airport then is the least of our concern … there is definitely a something more to what they merely dont want us to sniff into.