Islamabad: The UK Home Secretary Theresa May met Pakistan Secretary for Narcotics Control Sohail Ahmad, today Friday 25 November to discuss bilateral cooperation on counter-narcotics.
The UK Home Secretary Theresa May met Pakistan Secretary for Narcotics Control Sohail Ahmad, today Friday 25 November to discuss bilateral cooperation on counter-narcotics. Theresa May took part in a roundtable held at the ANF Academy with Secretary for Narcotics Control Sohail Ahmad, and DG ANF Major General Shakeel Hussain, followed by a tour of the facility.
Theresa May was impressed by the levels of cooperation between the UK Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and the ANF. She recognised the increased impact the ANF was having on direct trafficking of heroin to the UK from Pakistan – joint efforts had led to up to one tonne of heroin being captured in the UK and Pakistan in the last year. She commented:
“The UK and Pakistan have a strong interest in tackling the shared challenges posed to our countries by the drug trade. I am impressed by the level of cooperation between SOCA and the ANF. I look forward to seeing the results of further cooperation.”
Theresa May emphasised the significance of tackling the cross-border flow of drugs from Afghanistan. It is a threat to Pakistan’s stability and to the stability of the region. An international and inter-agency approach is crucial.
She highlighted the extension of the ANF’s work into FATA as a significant development. But she also recognised the challenges Pakistan faced in tackling narcotics flows through difficult terrain, such as in Balochistan.
She said “Pakistan has an important role to play in countering narcotics flows in the region. The UK fully supports these efforts. We encourage Pakistan to fully engage with the United Nations and its framework for cooperation with Afghanistan and Iran.”
Theresa May also reiterated her support for a multi-faceted approach to tackling the drug problem. She added:
“We support the efforts of Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies in tackling drug flows. But it is also important to address the health and social problems drugs create. The UK welcomes Pakistan’s developing focus on drug demand reduction and recovery.
The UK Drug Strategy aims to create a system that focuses not only on getting people into treatment but into full recovery and off drugs for good. The UK looks forward to working with Pakistan to share best practice in these areas”.
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