Pakistan says it will meet maritime security deadline

Pakistan says it will meet maritime security deadline

Pakistan will meet a July 1 deadline to implement UN anti-terror measures under the International Ship and Port Facility Security code, a senior official said.

Anwar Shah, director general of ports and shipping, reviewed Pakistan's status with key stakeholders at a meeting in Karachi. They will submit a report on security by May 25 to the director general, after which he will approve plans for implementation.

Shah said the International Maritime Organization had recognized Pakistan as one of 13 out of 164 member countries that was making progress on implementation of the anti-terror rules. Pakistan is a key player in the U.S. war against terrorism, and its proximity to Afghanistan and allegations of harboring al-Qaeda have lent an urgent tone to its participation in the new maritime regulations.

The Pakistan government has designated the office of the director general as the nodal authority for the code's enforcement. Lt. Col. Javed Akhtar, director ISPS code, said Pakistan has already nominated recognized security organizations and drafted security plans for its main ports of Karachi and Qasim.

-- N. Vasuki Rao in Chennai