23 August 2004
United Nations Drugs and Crime Office to Provide Assistance to Pakistans Intelligence Agencies
VIENNA, 23 August (UN Information Service) -- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Ministry of Interior and Narcotics Control of Pakistan have signed an agreement on a new technical assistance project to enhance the intelligence capacity of key law enforcement agencies in Pakistan.
Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, Minister of Interior and Narcotics Control of Pakistan and Bernard Frahi, a senior representative of the UNODC met on Saturday, 21 August, in Islamabad, Pakistan, to formally sign the technical assistance document. The two-year project with a budget of US$811,000 is designed to better equip Pakistani law enforcement agencies to conduct intelligence-led operations against drug trafficking and organized crime.
The agencies will be offered advisory services, training and relevant equipment. Immediate beneficiaries include the Anti Narcotics Force, the Frontier Corps (North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan) and the Federal Investigation Agency.
Investigating and dismantling criminal groups engaged in drug trafficking and organized crime requires a strong intelligence capacity. In the context of an increased need for strengthening law enforcement capacity in countries surrounding Afghanistan, it is vital to strengthen Pakistans intelligence capacity.
Additionally, in recognition of the importance of cross-border cooperation at an operational level among neighbouring states, the project will also support regional cooperation among Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Government of Pakistan, with the assistance of UNODC, has been playing a key role in enhancing collaboration with its neighbours, as demonstrated in the hosting of the Inter-governmental Technical Committee held in Islamabad in July 2004, which brought together the heads of counter narcotics agencies of the three West Asian countries. The new technical assistance project is a step towards providing greater opportunities for such interaction.
Mr. Frahi expressed UNODCs renewed commitment towards assisting Pakistan in its fight against drugs and crime and thanked the Government of Denmark that is funding the project, thus enabling this crucial activity.
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