Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Pakistan Grants Contract to Israeli Firm

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan State Oil, a government-run oil company, has awarded a contact to an Israeli-based firm, Turpak-Orpak, despite the government’s ban on any kind of trade or agreement with an Israeli entity.

The matter was taken up by the Senate Standing Committee on Interior at its meeting on Monday.

The committee did not only deal with the matter of awarding a contract to any Israeli firm but also expressed doubts over the operation of the company close to sensitive installations in the country.

“It is an Israeli military establishment-funded company which is being headed by a military general,” committee’s Chairman Senator Talha Mehmood told Dawn.

“We have learnt that the company had installed its equipment close to sensitive installations and, therefore, I have ordered an inspection of the equipment to ascertain whether they are being used for monitoring purpose,” the senator said.

Mr Talha said that under SRO 76 (1) issued on Sept 2009, no Israeli company could operate in the country, but the PSO management awarded the contract to the firm in 2008.

PSO officials who attended the meeting said the contract had been awarded by the previous management and they had nothing to do with it.

The committee sought a report from PSO on the grant of the contract in violation of rules and regulations.

“The award of contract caused a great loss to the national exchequer as well as serious risk to the national security as the PSO supplies oil to sensitive institutions of the country and a foreign company has installed sensitive equipment on different petrol pumps which was a matter of great concern,” the senator said.

He asked the PSO managing director to look into the matter and give a report within 15 days to the ministry of interior for further investigation and action.

The committee was of the view that a treason case should be registered against officials involved in the award of the contract to the company.

From here.

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