US army personnel to get privileges
ISLAMABAD, Nov 12: Pakistan and the United States are considering signing the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) that aims at providing privileges to civil and military personnel of the US department of defence based here as both countries continue their efforts to combat terrorism.
Well-placed sources told Dawn on Tuesday that a technical team of the US would visit Pakistan shortly to hold discussions on SOFA with a view to finalize the agreement.
Sources said that both countries have already drafted the proposals for final consideration, which would be discussed at length during the forthcoming meeting before it was finalized. Elaborating further, the sources said that Pakistan has proposed that the agreement should be effective for a period of one year from the date of its entry into force and could be renewed after consultations.
The agreement could be terminated by either parties before the expiry date of the agreement by giving a 30-day notice, the sources.
According to official draft documents made available to Dawn, both countries agreed in principle that these personnel would be accorded the status equivalent to that of the administrative and technical staff of the United States embassy at Islamabad under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961.
With the coming into effect of the agreement, Islamabad would accord duty-free importation and exportation as well as exemption from internal taxation or similar charges on products, property, material and equipment imported into or acquired in Pakistan by or for the US government in connection with its official activities within the scope of this agreement.
Similarly, vehicles and aircraft, owned or operated by or exclusively for the United States' armed forces, would not be subject to payment of landing or port fees, pilotage charges, navigation, over flight or parking charges, light and harbour dues or overland transit fees while in Pakistan. However, the US armed forces would pay reasonable charges as determined by the Pakistani government for such charges that were considered charges for services and were not taxes in nature
Pak-us Army Personnel To Get Privileges
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