QUETTA/ISLAMABAD The Pakistani security forces have taken over the control of Shamsi Airbase in Balochistan, according to a source from Kharan. The source said a US plane landed at Shamsi Airbase on Saturday for shifting military equipment and American staff from there. He claimed that Frontier Corps Balochistan has effectively taken the control of the base. It was also learnt that officials of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority have also reached the airbase for performing duties there. Shamsi Airbase was being used by US troops for drone attacks in Fata and other operations in south-western regions of Afghanistan. Following the Nato attack on Pakistan checkposts which killed 24 soldiers, Pakistan had asked US to vacate the base and set December 11 deadline for it. While the Shamsi base is reported to have been technically evacuated from the US forces, some 150 to 200 American personnel, reported to be the security guards and supporting staff at the facility, have not left as yet. An Afghanistan-bound military flight would purportedly carry these personnel to Kabul during late hours today. According to credible sources, Pakistan does not intend to use the aforesaid airfield for military purposes once the country gets its administrative control owing to the security related sensitivities having evolved given that the same facility has remained in the use of American military and air force for over a decade. Secondly, before the facility was handed over to the US forces in October 2001, Shamsi base did not have any strategic or military importance for Pakistan and was used as hunting ground for Arab royalties from United Arab Emirates who had acquired the base on lease in 1991, reportedly. Informed government officials shared with this newspaper that the proposal to use Shamsi airbase as an airport was on the cards but no decision was finalised as yet. For the time being, the Frontier Corps (FC) would assume the base control while Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) may be assigned to run the affairs of the air facility by turning it into an airport. Washuk, a rural district of Balochistan where Shamsi airbase is located, does not have any airport at the moment. FC, a paramilitary wing of Pakistan Army that is subordinated to the interior ministry, would keep partial presence in the facility till any final decision on Shamsi facility is made. Washuk was previously part of Kharan district and is still governed by Kharans district administration. When contacted, General Manager Public Relations and CAA Spokesperson Pervaiz George expressed ignorance about the issue saying that it was within the governments authority to take any such decision. I have no idea in this regard. Kharan Deputy Commissioner Tufail Baloch told The Nation that Pakistani security agencies would take over Shamsi airbase once officially notified that the base was ready to be taken into possession. He said, deciding about Shamsi base future was a federal subject and it was therefore mandated to federal government to proceed accordingly. Contrary to the speculations that Pakistan Air Force (PAF) would acquire control of the Shamsi airbase in the coming days, the armed force has negated of having been privy to any development concerning the airfield. When inquired on Saturday, the PAF responded that it had no role, involvement or obligation pertaining to the aforesaid base. PAF has nothing to do with it, he said. Leased to the United States soon after Pakistan became its ally in the war on terror following September 11 attacks, Shamsi airbase has attracted a lot of notoriety in recent years amid verified reports that the base was hotbed for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) sponsored drones campaign in Pakistans north-western tribal region of Fata (Federally Administered Tribal Areas). Hundreds of drone-hits that reportedly killed several militants along with civilians had taken off from the same air facility. However, after Pakistan went tough on the US and gave it 15-day deadline to pack up from Shamsi base on November 26 following the fatal attack on two Pakistan military pickets in Mohmand Agency killing 24 soldiers, the drone hits have seen a conspicuous halt. According to Conflict Monitoring Centres last month report on CIA drone-hits in Waziristan region, four drone attacks were reported, three in North Waziristan and one in South Waziristan. Twenty-six to 37 militants were killed in these attacks that took place between November 3 to November 17.