Japan to fund project for combating drugs, crime

Published March 11, 2016
ISLAMABAD: Junya Matsuura, Charge d’Affaires ad Interim of Japan, and Cesar Guedes, UNODC Country Office Representative in Pakistan, sign documents of a UNODC project for strengthening border security against illicit drug trafficking and organised crime in Pakistan here on Thursday.—APP
ISLAMABAD: Junya Matsuura, Charge d’Affaires ad Interim of Japan, and Cesar Guedes, UNODC Country Office Representative in Pakistan, sign documents of a UNODC project for strengthening border security against illicit drug trafficking and organised crime in Pakistan here on Thursday.—APP

ISLAMABAD: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) would launch a project this year aimed at strengthening Pakistan’s border security to curb illicit drug trafficking and transnational organised crime, it was announced here on Thursday.

The project, to be implemented with Japanese assistance of $6.5 million, will build the capacity of Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies to effectively interdict illicit narcotics entering or leaving the country through air, land and sea routes. The UNODC Pakistan will implement the project under its country programme for 2016-2019.

The UNODC Pakistan and the Japanese embassy in Islamabad signed the project documents in presence of senior officials from the ministries of interior and narcotics control and economic affairs division.


The $6.5 million project aims to strengthen Pakistan’s border security to curb narcotics trafficking and transnational organised crime


UNODC Country Representative Cesar Guedes said the project would contribute to the vision of creating “a safer community, free from the threats posed by illicit narcotics trafficking and transnational organised crime”.

“It aims to strengthen 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.

Charge d’Affaires ad interim of the Embassy of Japan Junya Matsuura reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to help Pakistan eradicate all types of transnational organised crime. He said Tokyo was committed to combating international criminal syndicates, which through their illicit activities hindered Pakistan’s economic development and prosperity.

Japan supports projects on border security between Pakistan and Afghanistan as this region is vital for a stable Pakistan, he said, adding that they were also funding other UN agencies assisting internally displaced persons of Federally Administered Tribal Areas to support the government’s efforts to bring peace and stability to the border region.

The joint secretary of the Narcotics Control Division, Muhammad Hafeez, expressed the hope that the counter-narcotics and law enforcement officials would directly and indirectly benefit from the project.

Under the project, presence of ANF personnel will be ensured at strategic drug trafficking routes throughout Balochistan by establishing police stations, deploying mobile interdiction units and setting up border liaison offices at the Pakistan-Iran border at Taftan and Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Chaman in order to improve information-sharing and operational cooperation.

The UNODC expects the project to bring substantial improvement to drug seizures and border management procedures. During 2014-2115, the ANF seized 345.54 tons of narcotics worth Rs5.7 trillion.

Technically, the project will facilitate various regional cooperation initiatives such as the ‘Triangular Initiative’ between Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran that focuses on counter-narcotics challenges and related transnational organised crime, the UNODC official said.

Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2016

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