Islamabad Airport lacks bomb detection, disposal squads

Currently, any suspicious bag is placed into a bomb ditch in a fairly risky procedure

Islamabad International Airport (IIA) does not have a bomb detection and disposal squad and intelligence agencies have written on the matter to Regional Police Officer Sohail Habib Tajik, a report published in Dawn revealed.

It is a matter of concern since the airport is located at a distance from Islamabad, Rawalpindi, and Attock in case of an emergency. It was also noted that trained dogs are also needed to assist in the detection of any explosive materials.

“Due to the long distance from the three cities, it will not be easy for the rescue teams and bomb disposal squads to reach the airport on time in case of an emergency situation,” the letter said according to reports. “Besides, the airport should also have detection dogs. In case of an emergency, the bomb disposal team needed more than one hour to reach there from Rawalpindi.”

According to a senior police officer, the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) require suspicious bags or anything abandoned found from the airport premises to be put in a blanket on it and then shifted to a ‘bomb ditch’, which he said is quite a dangerous exercise.

Better security a must

Better security is most certainly required for one of the most important airports in the country. There is a big security apparatus in place at the airport and addition of bomb detection and disposal teams will make the security arrangements even better.

Pakistan faced a tough decade in its fight against terrorism and still has to deal with occasional attacks. It is important that the security at the most sensitive spots in the country is ready for any kind of problem. Addition of these bomb teams should fortify the security further.

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