PESHAWAR: US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome has pledged to provide modern equipment to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police.

In a meeting with IGP Akhtar Hayat here on Thursday, he appreciated the steps taken by police to combat militancy and assured the department of full cooperation.

A delegation of the US mission and International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), led by the US ambassador, met Mr Hayat at central police office and discussed various activities launched by INL regarding increasing manpower and capacity of KP police.

The IGP informed the delegation about the training programme and scientific investigation provided to cops and reorganisation and upgradation of counter-terrorism department to effectively combat terrorism.

He said that separate desks were established in most of the police stations to exclusively resolve women issues.

Meanwhile, the US ambassador said that United States helped Pakistan for 75 years to advance economic growth and build a bright future for its people.

He said strengthening and modernising the agriculture sector of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was critical for ensuring food security, economic stability and climate resilience.

He was addressing a gathering after launching a US-funded Economic Recovery and Development Activity (Erda) here on Thursday.

Erda, a five-year initiative, is being implemented by Associates in Development (AID). The initiative is meant to expand economic opportunities in KP by strengthening and modernising agriculture sector and promoting micro, small and medium enterprises.

According to the US ambassador, 2,000 businessmen and thousands of families affected by floods would benefit from the project. “This activity is going to help the agriculture sector to develop new products and markets as well as boost small and medium enterprises,” he told journalists.

Earlier, Mr Blome stated that the US government helped to restore the irrigation channels to hard-hit areas in KP following 2010 floods and enabled farmers to plant wheat and avoid food insecurity. He added that since 2014, the US government helped more than one million displaced persons to rehabilitate their agricultural-based livelihoods in the newly merged districts.

He said that Erda would promote enterprises in agriculture and related sectors which in turn would stimulate private sector-led economic growth in KP. “This growth is urgently needed to reduce poverty, advance Pakistan’s Tribal Decade Strategy 2020-2030 and achieve its global development goals,” he added.

Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2023

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