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Japan, UNODC sign project to strengthen border security

By our correspondents
March 11, 2016

Islamabad

The UNODC Country Office in Pakistan and the Embassy of Japan have signed a UNODC project aimed at strengthening border security against illicit drug trafficking and related transnational organised crime here on Thursday. 

High officials from the Ministry of Interior and Narcotics Control and the Economic Affairs Division were present at the occasion. The envisaged project is to be implemented under the UNODC Country Programme for Pakistan (2016-2019) through the financial support of the Government of Japan. In total, the generous contribution of the Japanese government for the duration of the project will amount to about $6.5 million.

During his opening remarks, Cesar Guedes, the UNODC country office representative in Pakistan, highlighted that through the financial support of the Government of Japan, the project will contribute to the vision of creating “A safer community, free from the threats posed by illicit narcotics trafficking and transnational organised crime.” “It is, therefore, aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) and other law enforcement agencies to effectively interdict illicit narcotics entering or leaving the country through air, land and sea by way of effective border management. This will be done through the provision of essential operational equipment, positioning the ANF more strategically, implementation of specialist training programmes and other capacity building measures,” he added.

Muhammad Hafeez, joint secretary of the Narcotics Control Division (Ministry of Interior and Narcotics Control), thanked the UNODC for its broad-based capacity-building initiatives in Pakistan. “The counter-narcotics and law enforcement officials from the concerned Pakistani ministries and law enforcement agencies will directly and indirectly benefit from this project,” he said.

Junya Matsuura, Charge d'Affaires and Interim Minister of Japan, reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to help Pakistan eradicate all types of transnational organised crime including illicit drug trafficking.