domingo, 4 de novembro de 2007

PAQUISTÃO German subs deal: Senate defence body not satisfied

German subs deal: Senate defence body not satisfied
By By Shakil Shaikh
ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee for Defence has expressed its “dissatisfaction” over the reply it has received on queries regarding the controversial sale-purchase of $1billion German submarines Papanikolis (U-214).

“We have not found satisfactory the reply received on the clarification/queries raised by the Defence Production Ministry,” said a member of the Committee, who has already approached the committee chairman to convene the meeting for discussing this matter of national importance from the naval defence and security perspective.

In all, 23 queries were raised and these were communicated to the Naval Headquarters and the German Company HDW, the manufacturer of U-214 subs.

In most cases in the light of documentary evidence made available to this scribe, the Naval Headquarters (NHQ) termed it “unsatisfactory, no comments received from the German firm, or the issue will be discussed further.”

It was astonishing that the bulk of information regarding the purchase of German subs has not been put on the table by the HDW, said a senior official.

Several analysis were carried out on this deal and it was concluded by the concerned officials that bypassing of the process and procedures were reported as perhaps some “big gun” was interested in this controversial purchase of “not in-service subs – Class U-214.”

One senior official told ‘The News’ that the standard procedure had been violated from the beginning, as the German offer was full of strong deviations having a direct impact on cost for Pakistan, time delivery, feasibility of project and operational performance.

“The German offer has been appraised as acceptable despite the fact that the invitation of tender specifies that offers are liable to be rejected if there is any deviation from special/technical instructions, offers are found conditional or incomplete in any respect, manufacturer’s relevant brochures and technical details of major equipment/assemblies are not attached in support of specifications and subject to non-availability of export licence,” said the official.

One official expert said that the German offer was financially arrogant, as the payment schedule requested by the German firm says that Pakistan will have to pay 45% of the total one billion dollars one year after the coming into force of the contract and 4.5 years before the tentative delivery of the first submarine.

It is also learnt that a high-level delegation of German firm will arrive here on November 5-6 to meet senior defence officials and to answer the queries of the ministry.

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