The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) has purchased four robotic systems capable of remotely defusing explosive devices, becoming the first service in the country to be equipped with the state-of-the-art technology, a senior police official said on Friday.
Talking to The Express Tribune, K-P BDS Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Shafqat Malik said the robotic systems, purchased from the British government, are designed to scan a suspicious vehicle or object for explosives and upon detection, defuse them. The robots are equipped with camera sensors and have the capability to dig up and defuse any explosives detected. The systems will be operated by a team of experts through a computer interface, he added.
“It will help us locate explosives and defuse them without any human loss,” the official said. He added that bomb defusing kits were provided along with the robots capable of dealing with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), bombs, packet bombs and explosive-laden vehicles.
“One system cost approximately Rs10 to Rs15 million,” Malik told The Express Tribune. He said that the systems had not yet been handed over to the BDS; “They are sealed in a container and will be handed over soon.” The official added that the systems will be deployed in Peshawar immediately after the BDS received them.
The AIG said the BDS will acquire four more robotic systems by the end of the year in collaboration with the provincial government and the police department.
According to Malik, since K-P was in a state of war in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks, law enforcement agencies in the province were in dire need of acquiring the latest technology to thwart growing terrorism and security threats. The AIG said that authorities are surrounded by a plethora of problems on multiple fronts and the new systems will greatly help them protect people’s lives in emergency scenarios.
“Despite the fact that we are confronted with various problems, our officials and policemen remain committed to providing security and protection to the life and property of people across the province,” he stated.
He added that his unit’s workload has doubled in the past three years.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2012.