PESHAWAR: Despite playing a vital role in countering terrorism and defusing over 6,000 improvised explosive devices and person-borne improvised explosive devices over the past eight years, Khyber-Pakhtunkwa’s Bomb Disposal Unit is marred by lack of funds and equipment.
The four robots donated to the bomb disposal unit in 2012 too have become partially dysfunctional due to lack of proper maintenance. The robots were donated by the British government to K-P police four years ago.
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These robots were designed to scan suspicious vehicles or objects for explosives and upon detection defuse them. However, though the robots aimed to reduce the risk for BDU personnel, they were seldom brought to the field.
According to sources in the bomb disposal unit, the robot working in Nowshera is better in comparison with the one in Peshawar.
“We have twenty-five districts in the province and wish that the K-P government provide at least two robots for each one of them. We have demanded that Peshawar, which faces 50% of the attacks, must have at least five or six such robots to save maximum number of lives,” K-P Assistant Inspector General Shafqat Malik of the bomb disposal unit told The Express Tribune.
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AIG Malik confirmed that the gadgets had reached their expiry and stated that he had repeatedly requested the provincial government to acquire new robots to save the lives of BDU experts and citizens, but nothing has been done so far.
While commenting on the issue, Advisor to Chief Minister on Information Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani said that the incumbent government spent around Rs30 billion and accepted that the department was facing problems. He added that the provincial government was working to improve the situation.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2016.