US officials yesterday called on Pakistan to crack down on the production of a common fertiliser, saying it was being used in making bombs that had claimed the bulk of troop deaths in Afghanistan.
Even as US officials credited Islamabad with taking the issue more seriously, they added, much more needed to be done by authorities and producers of the fertiliser.
Calcium ammonium nitrate is responsible for over 70 per cent of roadside bombs against coalition forces in Afghanistan even as Kabul has banned the fertiliser, lieutenant general Michael Barbero told a senate hearing.
Barbero head of a Defense Department unit that combats the bombs, said the Fatima Group, the Pakistani company that runs the factories, had been "less than cooperative" in discussions with the US.
According to senator Bob Casey, who put up pictures of maimed US soldiers at the hearing, interior minister Rehman Malik had presented plans for countering the making of bombs known as improvised explosive devices, or IEDs a visit to the US in October.
"While I'm pleased that Pakistan has developed a very detailed and comprehensive set of plans to counter IEDs, let me be clear -- it's time to finally and fully implement these plans," Casey said.
"IED incidents have risen in Afghanistan. The flow of chemicals coming from across the border has not diminished," said Casey, a member of president Barack Obama's Democratic Party from Pennsylvania.