As security agencies have reported that most of the explosives being used in terrorism acts are locally made, a proposal is being considered to issue new guidelines to the provincial and district governments to ensure that the explosive material procured by licence holders is not misused, an official told The News here on Feb 9.
“Almost 99 per cent of the explosives material used in various terrorism acts in different parts of the country has been found locally made, while only a negligible quantity has been found smuggled, possibly through Afghanistan,” said the official of a security agency on condition of anonymity. The official said the proposal was currently being considered to issue new guidelines to the provincial and district governments to keep a check on the use of explosive material in their respective jurisdictions. He said the step was aimed at ensuring the explosive material procured by the licence holders was not pilfered and misused. When contacted, Chief Inspector of Explosives in the Ministry of Industries Muhammad Javed said the ministry had issued licence for the procurement of explosives. He said at present, 189 contractors and vendors were registered with the ministry, who procured explosives for various sectors, including mining, construction, etc. “Explosives are used in Swat, Mianwali, Northern Areas and Sangjani for mining purpose, while it is used by road builders in different parts of the country, particularly the Northern Areas,” he said. On the procedure of issuing the licence, the official said that at first, security clearance of an applicant was sought from all the security agencies and the Ministry of Interior, and then, the depository of the contractor concerned was checked for security clearance before the issuance of the licence. He said a list of licence holders was provided to all districts to minimise the chances of pilferage of explosives. “Some multinationals are also issued licences, but it is for a short-term and automatically expires after the specified period,” Javed said. Ruling out the possibility of large-scale pilferage of explosives, he said: “There are slim chances of theft of explosives procured by the licence holders. Only one such incident is on record to have occurred in the Oil and Gas Development Corporation some 20 years ago. However, there is a possibility of the pilferage of explosives during transportation.” He said the explosives material made by the Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) was handed over to the Wah Nobel for its issuance to the licence holders. The Wah Nobel, a joint venture between the Saab (Sweden), Almisehal (Saudi Arabia) and Pakistan Ordnance Factories, was founded in 1962. “For more than three decades, the Wah Nobel has stood as a symbol of safety, reliability, service and commitment,” an official said. “The Wah Nobel’s products enjoy the highest reputation in Pakistan and abroad. This has been achieved through innovation, experience, state-of-the-art technology and a vision for the future,” he added. The explosives are used worldwide in the form of ammunition, weapons, flares, fireworks, crackers, black powder, propellants & gunpowder, ammonium chlorates/perchlorates, ammonium nitrate/diesel, ANFO, ANNIE, fertiliser, NQ, amatol, minol, det cord, TNT, tetryl, amatol family, tetrytol, comp A/B, baratol, detasheet, H-6, pentolite, torpex (mines and torpedoes), nitroguandine, DNT, PeTN, picric acid, RDX, PE4, C1, C2, C4, semtex, comp A/B/B3/A5, water gel, slurry, emulsion, rubber, TNB, CH6, HBX, PBX, H6 (sea mines), gelatin, cyclotol, MNX 194 (artillery rounds), pax explosives 21/25/28/41 (canon fired munitions), RS-RDX, hexogen, octogen, HMX, octol, PBXN (missiles), nitroglycerine-based explosives, ammunition, heart medicine, dynamite, hydrazine highly explosive and used for rocket fuel, methyl nitrate (highly explosives material but highly volatile) rocket fuel, potassium chlorate booster charge to use with tetryl, TATP, aluminium powder, uranium acetate, etc. In Pakistan, the explosives are used in the form of ammunition, weapons, crackers, black powder, propellants, gunpowder, ammonium chlorates/perchlorates, ammonium nitrate/diesel, fertiliser, det cord, TNT, tetryl, torpex (mines and torpedoes), DNT, RDX, C1, C2, C4, water gel, gelatin, (artillery rounds), dynamite, TATP, etc.