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Date Posted: 21:36:54 08/31/07 Fri
Author: Shahnaz

By Javed – 5 November 2006

I do remember some years back in a foreign country a reporter put a question to a Minister addressing the press conference. The Minister enquired from where that information comes from. When the Minister was told the source was from Pakistan, he replied nothing coming from Pakistan should ever surprise anybody.

In our “own wisdom” fighting with terrorism we have adopted a security check system at our airports which no where in the world is ever seen as it is the most stupid security system. The world over security check steps are serialwise are visual plain check up entering the airport lounge, then scanning the whole baggage and putting a security strip abroad the checked baggage, weighing and tagging the baggage at check-in-counter, issuance of boarding pass, travel towards immigration and finally to the Gate for entering the plane by passing through another body and hand bag check. The same system had been prevailing since decades in Pakistan. But since we now are the biggest player in tackling the international terrorism hence over confident we have adopted the stupid system similar to our selling everything to foreigners rather than preferring the local buyers.

Now using our modern wisdom this system has been changed. The scanning machines immediately entering into the airport building/hall have been removed. Right from entering the airport without any formal check (except for the brief Customs briefing) the passenger goes direct to the CAA/Airlines check-in-counter. Here the passengers gets his baggage weighted and boarding card in his hands he once again picks up his now tagged baggage to a newly introduced counter where sits ASF experts with a scanning machine. The passenger puts his baggage on the scanning machine and the ASF expert questions him about the contents. No where in the word after once baggage having been weighted and destination-identification tagged is allowed to be touched by the passenger. It is a security matter. Under our new system it is a free hand for the passenger that after having got weighted his baggage, while moving towards scanning machine he can freely put 5 or 15 kgs extra baggage in the cleared baggage he had so far kept aside. The ASF security inspection and questioning can well and more practically be done if the scanning machine remains at its usual old place where these universally are kept. This has put not only the security at risk but has also put the passenger on a lot of inconvenience,

How much are these security experts vigilant? The CAA check-in-counter nice and kind lady official was enquiring from every passenger if he had any liquid in his hand bag to be taken inside the plane as carry baggage. I told her I had a bottle of mineral water as well as a 7UP bottle which I usually need for long travel. She told me the security staff would not allow it. When I desired to get these two bottles out, the nice lady told me not to put myself into inconvenience at this stage as I had also to pick up my whole baggage to the distance scanning machine rather advised me that I can remove these bottles at the last leg of my security check before entering into the plane. I passed through the touch security check where even I had to remove and pass my watch, pen and eye glasses through the scanning machine including physical body check but no expert told me (or could find) the 7UP and mineral water bottles in my hand bag. Wonderful wise new security?

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