LHC directs ETPB to dispose off Lal Haveli case within 15 days

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Country Office in Pakistan (COPAK) organized an eight-week maritime training and mentoring session to improve National Response against Drugs and Contraband Trafficking in Maritime Domain.
Federal Secretary, Ministry of Narcotics Control Ahmed along with Major General Aneeq Malik – Director General of the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF); Muhammad Yaqoob Mako – Chief Collector (Operations), Pakistan Customs Enforcement (South) Karachi, Usman Bajwa – Customs Collector (Preventive) Karachi; Brigadier Ghulam Abbas – Director General Pakistan Coast Guards (PCG) Karachi; Liam O’Flanagan – Deputy Consul General of United States of America’s Consulate in Karachi; and Dr. Jeremy Milsom – Representative of UNODC COPAK attended the event.
These training and mentoring sessions are being conducted under the framework of UNODC’s project funded by the United States State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Pakistan (INL-P), said a news release issued on Monday. More specifically, five training courses will be delivered by Master Trainers of the PCG, Pakistan Customs, and the ANF – who were trained in VBSS and Bulk-Carrier Search by UNODC in Seychelles and Cape Town, South Africa in 2022.
The Pakistani Master Trainers will be mentored by two international trainers of UNODC’s Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP). The series of training and mentoring sessions aimed to further refine the technical skills of the Pakistani Master Trainers and to also provide training to an additional sixty fresh trainees from the PCG, Pakistan Customs and ANF onboarding operations and vessel search techniques. Dr. Jeremy Milsom, Representative UNODC COPAK apprised the forum that UNODC had closely engaged with the Ministry of Narcotics Control during the design and implementation of this INL-funded project since October 2020.
The project aimed to address Pakistan’s priority capacity-building needs in the maritime domain. “UNODC COPAK adopts a holistic approach to support the Government of Pakistan in addressing various drugs and crime challenges, encompassing both domestic and transnational issues.
Our ongoing Pakistan Country Programme III (2022-2025) complements the Government of Pakistan policies and programmes, focusing on drug supply reduction, drug demand reduction, rule of law and criminal justice, and counterterrorism.
\\We are also promoting the Government of Pakistan’s regional and international cooperation in these areas”, said Dr Milsom.
Through a comprehensive presentation, David O’Connell, GMCP’s Programme Coordinator updated the participants about several capacity development interventions by UNODC under the INL-funded maritime security project.
He elaborated upon the successful conduct of five VBBS training courses and six Bulk-Carrier Search training courses conducted by UNODC GMCP in Seychelles and South Africa. Seventy-four law enforcement officials (including 12 Master Trainers) of the PCG, Pakistan Customs, and the ANF were trained through these specialized training courses.
“This specialized training was based on international best practices on engaging and boarding suspicious vessels at sea or in port and carrying out search and apprehension of drug traffickers and contraband smugglers in compliance with national and international maritime law”, said O’Connell.
In his remarks, Liam O’Flanagan, Deputy Consul General of the United States of America’s Consulate in Karachi, thanked
Pakistan for making concerted counternarcotics efforts, as one of the main transit countries neighbouring Afghanistan.
He acknowledged the role played by the ANF and other Pakistani border law enforcement agencies and noted “there is a need to further enhance Pakistan’s technical capacity – to proactively detect, deter and disrupt drug trafficking.”
He also recognized the close partnership between Pakistan and the United States of America against drug proliferation.
Humaira Ahmed Federal Secretary of the Ministry of Narcotics Control thanked UNODC and the INL for their vision and continuing capacity development, which had previously led to the successful implementation of a series of specialized training courses in Seychelles and South Africa.
“Pakistan continues to play a crucial role as the first line of defence for the rest of the world against the massive outflow of opiates, synthetic drugs, and new psychotropic substances from Afghanistan. Given the uncertain political situation in Afghanistan, we strongly feel that there is a need to continue such capacity development initiatives by UNODC and the INL in the future”, said Humaira Ahmed.
Sixty fresh trainees of the ANF, PCG, and Pakistan Customs will be trained through this 8-Week mentoring session, adding additional tools to the range of skills available to Pakistani maritime law enforcement agencies in working to protect the region and wider international community from the threat posed by illicit drug trafficking and contraband smuggling through Pakistan’s maritime domain.