Thursday, September 8, 2011

US official attempts to enter nuclear research facility

US official attempts to enter nuclear research facility

Published: September 8, 2011

After a heated debate between Berger and security agencies, he was forced to leave.

FAISALABAD: A US security official’s attempt to enter a ‘sensitive’ area of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in Faisalabad was foiled by security agencies, who forced him to return after a heated scene at the institution’s gate.

Reports claim that on Wednesday, Mr. Jaison Berger, Security Officer of the US Consulate Lahore, visited Faisalabad to check and inspect security arrangements for a US delegation’s scheduled visit to the city on September 13.

While visiting different areas of the city, Berger reached the National Institute for Bio­technology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), a centre of nuclear research working under the direct command of the PAEC.

Police staff and officials on duty stopped the US national at the gate after receiving orders from their superiors at a provincial and national level. The officials requested him to steer clear of the area which was not included in the US delegation’s scheduled plan but Berger refused to acquiesce.

After a heated debate between the US official and security agencies including NIBGE commandos, Berger was forced to leave the site. Following the incident, the official abruptly cut short his visit and headed for Lahore.

Following the tense encounter, sensitive agency personnel and Faisalabad police took up the matter seriously and sent SOS reports to officials concerned about Berger’s attempt to force entry.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 8th, 2011.

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