RAWALPINDI, July 15: Punjab Home Department has sought a detailed report of explosive material manufacturers in the district after receiving intelligence reports expressing fear that the material may land in the hands of the terrorists.
Sources told Dawn on Sunday that the home department asked the City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) and local police to conduct separate inspection of the outlets of explosive material manufacturers and check their record of current and previous years.
They said the teams would check the quantity of the explosive material lying in the store and verify the record while checking the details of the people/parties who bought it from them.
They added the move was launched after receiving reports that the terrorists might be able to buy the material from the outlets. Sources further said the local police had also been directed to keep a vigilant eye on the transportation of explosive material and added that it had also been directed to check the record of fireworks manufacturers who purchased explosive material from the main stockiest.
According to the rules, the federal government issues licenses to explosive material manufacturers after receiving verification reports from the assistant commissioners of the respective areas.
In an initial report prepared by the local administration and police, there were four main stores of explosive material in Rawalpindi district – Murree, Taxila, Wah Cantonment and Gujar Khan.
To detect more outlets, the CDGR has formed teams who will submit their report within a month to district coordination officer, who will then send it to home department. These teams will also prepare a report about other chemicals being used with explosive material for conducting the terrorist activities.
The home department has also asked the CDGR to share the information with Counter-Terrorism Department of Punjab Police.
When contacted, District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar claimed that such directives were a routine matter. He confirmed that he held a meeting with police officials and local administration and tasked the teams to check the record of the explosive material manufacturers.
He added that there were few stock points of explosive material in the district and the CDGR teams would compile the data and record of sale and purchase at the outlets soon.