Kargil Irregularities: Opening up a pandora box
Daily Times, July 26, 2006
‘Irregularities in PAF purchase of wood during Kargil operation’
ISLAMABAD: The auditor general of Pakistan (AGP) has reported that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) violated government rules by buying expensive wood to pack fuel tanks during the Kargil operation.
The AGP reported that PAF authorities at Chaklala Air Base bought expensive firewood, resulting in an “extra expenditure of Rs 0.502 million in violation of government rules”.
The PAF replied: “It (Kargil operation) was a national emergency and the purchases concerned dispatch of aircraft.”
The Defence Ministry said that private vehicles were hired to transport the wood. “Drop tanks, being huge, expensive and fragile equipment, required seasoned wood for packing before long-distance transportation,” the ministry said.
It said that drop tanks were planned to be stored at forward operation bases till their wartime use. It said that reliable wood was purchased to make boxes, adding that the PAF supervised the manufacture of boxes used for packing to ensure quality.
However, the AGP rejected the ministry’s stance and said that the wood quality was neither extraordinary nor had there been a shortage of wood in the market that could have increased the wood price. He urged an inquiry into the matter and measures to check such practices in future.