Pakistan and US vow to jointly curb use of IEDs | Pakistan Today

Pakistan and US vow to jointly curb use of IEDs

Pakistan and the US on Tuesday vowed to work together to save the citizens of Pakistan, the US and Afghanistan by checking the use of the most dangerous weapon, the improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Both countries also discussed strategies to diminish the threat through greater control and monitoring of explosives, precursors and IED components such as calcium ammonium nitrate by enhanced border management.
They also discussed how to support and strengthen Pakistani IED experts so as to enable them to meet the challenges posed by the use of “lethal weapon” by the terrorists as they meet at the fourth Pak-US ministerial-level strategic dialogue on law enforcement and counter-terrorism. Both the countries agreed that Pakistan and the US had common interests and the strategic dialogue was the right step to benefit each other in different areas.
Addressing a joint press briefing with US Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law William Brownfield after attending the first round of dialogue, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said IEDs were a lethal weapon that needed to be taken away from the terrorists to ensure peace in Pakistan and in the region.
He said practical measures were being adopted with the support of the US to check use of IEDs, which was responsible for killing of thousands people in the country. The talks between the two countries specifically focused on countering IEDs which, Malik said, were also being used in Balochistan.
The interior minister said border between Pakistan and Afghanistan was a major concern as our security forces were being attacked with IEDs by terrorists. He said there were also certain reports that fertiliser was being exported to Afghanistan to make IEDs. “We cannot stop production of fertiliser but we can regulate its production and transportation,” he said, adding that export of the fertiliser to Afghanistan had been banned.
Malik said in collaboration with US, Pakistan would soon start a programme to impart training to law enforcement officials to check manufacturing and use of IEDs. “We are going to make law against the IEDs, we are also going to form a forum with members from law enforcement agencies including the army. We are grateful to the US for their help and support in this regard,” he said.
Brownfield said the main agenda of the strategic dialogue was to save the life of people around the world. He said both sides were set to discuss matters related to enhancing professional capabilities of the law enforcement agencies in view of the new strategy announced by the Obama administration.
He said the meeting also discussed ways and means to curb the use of IED explosives and highlighted other bilateral issues.
Asked to comment on delay of issuing Pakistan’s visa to some US citizens, Malik said “There may be some procedural hitches but there is no refusal. The law applicable to other countries is also applicable for the US.”
Brownfield said Pakistan was a sovereign and independent country and had its own laws and no country in the world could dictate Pakistan.
To another question, Malik said majority of terrorist attacks had been conducted in the bordering area of Pakistan and Afghanistan and confirmed cross-border violations from the Afghan side.
He said the issue was also discussed with President Hamid Karzai, adding that within the next two weeks, he would visit Afghanistan or his Afghan counterpart would visit Pakistan to discuss measures to stop such violations. He pledged that Pakistan would continue to fight terrorism in collaboration with the US and will eventually eliminate it.
According to a joint statement issued later, the meeting reaffirmed the commitment of both governments to continue the important work of the Pakistan-US strategic dialogue and to strengthen Pakistan and the US cooperation on law enforcement and counter-terrorism issues.
The delegations also exchanged ideas on how to improve the prosecution for illegal shipments of IED precursors and terrorism cases, including strengthening the legislative framework for such cases. The two parties also discussed challenges and progress made in Pakistan’s efforts to counter the illicit trafficking of drugs.

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