US seeks to ban ammonium nitrate production in Pak



Islamabad: US is seeking to ban the production of ammonium nitrate used in fertilizers in Pakistan as the substance has dual use of making improvised explosive devices (IED) that have killed hundreds of US soldiers in Afghanistan.

American Ambassador Mark Grossman is hoping that a meeting in Islamabad this week would lead to a ban on the substance, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The US Defence Department believes that about 85 percent of the Afghan IEDs are made with ammonium nitrate brought from Pakistan.

In his address to Pakistani physicians on Saturday night, Grossman, the US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, noted that the IEDs had also killed thousands of Pakistanis.

"We hope that the July 5 meeting in Islamabad will deal with this problem once and for all," he said. Senator Robert P Casey, a member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told more than 2,500 Pakistani physicians attending the convention that they should use their influence to convince Pakistan to make a law banning ammonium nitrate.

Ambassador Grossman said the US administration was already working with the Pakistani government on the issue and hoped that the July 5 meeting would lead to a positive result.

Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield will lead the US delegation to this meeting of the Strategic Dialogue Working Group on counter-terrorism and law enforcement.

PTI