International chemical arms inspectors in Pak to check for leakage to terrorists?

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Islamabad, Feb.24 (ANI): A team of international inspectors is scheduled to arrive here today (Wednesday) to carry out a comprehensive check of safety and security measures being taken at the Pak-Arab Fertilisers Private Ltd in Multan, Pakistan's largest fertiliser factory.

The Foreign Office has described the inspection by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as a routine affair, however, sources said the international team's visit is in the wake of the heightened terror threat.

"An inspection team of OPCW will visit Pakistan to carry out a routine industrial inspection of Pak-Arab Fertilisers Private Ltd in Multan from Feb 24 to Feb 28," a statement issued by the Foreign Office said.

The OPCW, whose basic mandate is to ensure compliance of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) by signatory states, has a special interest in preventing chemicals from being used in terrorist attacks.

When asked that why the international team has chosen the Multan based factory for inspection, Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit said there were no specific reasons for that.

"The OPCW randomly chooses facilities for inspection out of a list declared by party states," The Dawn quoted Basit, as saying.

It may be noted that the fertiliser factory in Multan ry is the only one producing calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) and nitro-phosphate (NP), which have been found to have been used by terrorists for making improvised explosive devices (IED's).

Pakistan is a member of the executive council of the 188-member body responsible for implementing Chemical Weapons Convention and is also its coordinator for Asia.

So far, there has been no report of suspicion on Pakistan for running any chemical weapon programme or stockpiling chemical arms. (ANI)

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