Well-placed diplomatic sources told TheNation that the European Union would soon make a formal proposal to Pakistan on deepen cooperation in order to counter IEDs threat.
“European has decided to increase cooperation with Pakistan in order to make joint efforts to counter IEDs threat to the civilian population as well the security forces battling terrorists”, a senior EU diplomat privy to the development said.
According to Pentagon data, IEDs still account for more than 60 per cent of US casualties in Afghanistan.
The gravity of situation has promoted the US authorities to take Pakistan on board because it believes that most of raw material used in making IEDs was being smuggled into Afghanistan from Pakistan.
As part of these efforts, Counter Improvised Explosive Device (C-IED) working group of the US and Pakistan has held a series of meetings to counter the increasing IEDs threat in order to promote regional security.
The US data suggests that there have been nearly 1,900 US casualties in Afghanistan caused by IEDs in 2012.
Evidence shows that most of the IEDs in Afghanistan are made with ammonium nitrate, the fertilizer used in the Oklahoma City bombing, Chief of Pentagon’s Joint IED Defeat Organization, Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero said in a recent statement adding that it is illegal to make or import ammonium nitrate into Afghanistan.
The United States has made several proposals to Pakistan to reduce the threat from fertilizer-based bombs, including putting die in all ammonium nitrate to make it easier for border patrol agents in Afghanistan to spot, or reformulating it so it could still feed crops but wouldn’t be explosive.
According to Chief of Pentagon’s Joint IED Defeat Organization, Lt. Gen. Michael He said so far this year, IED attacks in Afghanistan are down 12% to 18 per cent, the general said, but that’s compared with last year, the worst year on record. And there is reason to think the number could rise again.
Barbero, who is head of the Joint IED Defeat Organization, said that when the United States began pulling troops out of Iraq, IED attacks went up, and the same could happen over the next 24 months in Afghanistan.
APP adds: According to security officials here on Sunday, IEDs can be produced in varying sizes, functioning methods, containers, and delivery methods. IEDs can utilize commercial or military explosives, homemade explosives, or military ordnance and ordnance components.
Due to lower cost involved in make and manufacture, it has emerged as the single most dominant weapon for in militancy against the state and society, and has made the human life very cheap.
Alongside Iraq, Afghanistan including the foreign forces in these countries, Pakistan has been one of the worst hit countries wherein IEDs have caused irremediable devastation and destruction.
The civilians and the security forces personnel have suffered alike. Countless people have fallen victim to IED incidents on the globe during the last over one decade, of whom thousands have been killed and many more maimed. Whereas Pakistan’s security forces have tried to put up a professional institutional response to counter the threat in all its dimensions both in offensive and defensive manner, however, the menace does not seem to peter out.
While using the IEDs, the perpetrators possess the initiative with regard to the time and place of attack. In addition to being used as wayside bombs, IED is also used as vehicle-borne bombs and person-borne bombs.
The latter is the most effective form as it takes the form of suicide bombing, which is comparatively most difficult to counter or control among all categories of IEDs. Security is everyone’s responsibility and so is the need to counter IEDs, which fall within the realm of security and protection of population.
Inter alia, protective response to IEDs by every individual and each segment of the society, whether public or private is imperative.
This would not only save precious civilian lives but would also facilitate the job of the security forces in protection of population and vital assets, both public and private.
They said, the foremost step needed on the way of combating IEDs is to inculcate awarenessts such as: magnitude of threat; make and type of IED; who all could be perpetrators; what are the objectives of the perpetrators; what could be the most likely targets for IEDs; what could be the forms and shapes of and IED; how to identify a device, how to save oneself and the others, and how and to whom to report; how to identify a suicide bomber; and what action to take in case it become clear that such a person is approaching a person, place or a group of persons. Requisite level of awareness and cautiousness in masses is expected to work towards avoiding and minimizing damage in case of IED incidents to a great extent.