US to provide $ 41.8 million for drug control

ISLAMABAD:  The United States of America (USA) will provide US $ 41.84 million to Pakistan for law enforcement reforms and capacity building and drug crop control.

Agreement to this effect was signed here on Friday at Economic Affairs Division (EAD) by US Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson and Secretary EAD, Muhammad Saleem Sethi on behalf of their respective countries.

Under the agreement US Department for States’ International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau will provide US$ 41.8 million to support government in building its law enforcement capabilities, fighting illicit narcotics and reforming its criminal justice system.

Speaking on the occasion, US Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olson said that today is another milestone in the longstanding partnership between the United States and Pakistan.

“We commend Pakistan for 32 years of work to eradicate poppy production and for the progress it has made in stemming the transit of narcotics”, he added

Ambassador Olson said that US signed the first such bilateral assistance agreement in 1982 and today’s signing demonstrates the ongoing US commitment to support Pakistan’s efforts to halt the production and flow of illicit narcotics.

The agreement will allow continuation of programs throughout Pakistan that improve the operational capability and reach of provincial police and other law enforcement institutions through training, equipment, and infrastructure support, he added.

He said that it will also help Pakistan interdict illegal narcotics, arrest and prosecute drug traffickers, fund crop substitution and agricultural training programs for poppy farmers, and provide small-scale irrigation and hydro-electric system to farms in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

The Ambassador said that financial assistance will also promote the rule of law by providing training to provincial and federal prosecutors in effective trial advocacy and to corrections officials in modern prison administration.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Secretary EAD thanked the US government for its support for the development of different sectors of national economy.

He also lauded the support and assistance of US for the development of energy, health and education sectors of the country and expressed the hope that the strategic partnership between both countries will grow further.

Source: APP