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US-Pak discuss ways to stop illegal IED component shipment

July 06, 2011 16:29 IST

Pakistan and the United States discussed strengthening prosecution and laws to target illegal shipments of components used to make improvised explosive devices and other terrorism cases, as law enforcement and counter-terrorism officials from the two sides held talks in Islamabad.

The two sides also discussed challenges and progress made in Pakistan's efforts to counter the illicit trafficking of drugs. The matter was discussed during a meeting of the law enforcement and counter-terrorism working group as part of the US-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue.

The Pakistani side was led by Interior Minister Rehman Malik while Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement William Brownfield headed the US delegation.

The two sides 'exchanged ideas on how to improve the prosecution for illegal shipments of IED precursors and terrorism cases, including strengthening the legislative framework for such cases', said a joint statement issued after the talks on Tuesday.

Malik and Brownfield discussed the "tragic impact" of IEDs on law enforcement personnel and civilians in Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan. "The death of over 500 Pakistani civilians from IEDs since the beginning of 2011 called for the need for urgent action to combat the threat," the statement said.

Noting that suicide bombings and IED attacks had become 'an unacceptable and too frequent occurrence in Pakistan', both sides pledged to improve cooperation on stopping 'these vicious cowardly attacks'.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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