‘On the offensive’: Pakistan, UK to step up anti-drug fight

Published: September 25, 2013
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Minister for Interior and Narcotics Chaudhry Nisar and British Home Secretary Theresa May addressing the media. PHOTO: NNI

Minister for Interior and Narcotics Chaudhry Nisar and British Home Secretary Theresa May addressing the media. PHOTO: NNI

ISLAMABAD: 

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar met UK Home Secretary Theresa May on Tuesday to reiterate the two governments’ resolve to fight against terrorism, narcotics trafficking and illegal migration.

British Home Secretary stressed that Pakistan’s security directly affected that of the UK and said it is in the interests of both countries to sustain a broad-based strategic relationship founded on respect, trust and mutual benefit.

Talking to the media, she said, “We are also united in our determination to confront serious and organised crime, and the gangs who get rich trading in illegal drugs, exploiting people through immigration crime and trafficking the vulnerable into prostitution,” she went on to say, adding, “They cost our economies billions and deprive our citizens of their safety, security and prosperity.”

According to British High Commission during the meeting at the Interior Ministry, the Home Secretary and Interior Minister Nisar restated their commitment to cooperate on issues of pressing mutual importance, including counter-terrorism work, and combating illegal migration and organised crime.

National Crime Agency

The British Home Secretary briefed Interior Minister Nisar on the forthcoming launch of the new National Crime Agency, a powerful and highly visible crime-fighting body which will transform the UK’s response to the threat of serious and organised crime.

She said, “In the fight against terrorism, Pakistan is on the frontline and has lost more of its citizens to terrorist violence than any other country. The UK stands with the Pakistani people.”

The British Home Secretary said, “We are also united in our determination to confront serious and organised crime, and the gangs who get rich trading in illegal drugs, exploiting people through immigration crime and trafficking the vulnerable into prostitution.

“They cost our economies billions and deprive our citizens of their safety, security and prosperity.”

She said, “Pakistan has pledged its support as the UK transforms its response to the threat organised criminals pose. The launch next month of the National Crime Agency will equip one crime-fighting body with the power and responsibility to find, pursue and bring them to justice -¬ wherever they are hiding ¬ and then claw back their profits.”

She further said, “Pakistani law enforcement partners will feel the benefits as the NCAs international network drives co-operation and shares its information and expertise.

“We are united with Pakistan and our support will not waver. The British Home Secretary stressed that Pakistan’s security directly affects the security of the UK and said it is in the interests of both countries to sustain a broad-based strategic relationship founded on respect, trust and mutual benefit. Theresa May welcomed the commitment that Interior Minister Nisar and the Government of Pakistan have shown to adopting a zero tolerance approach to illegal migration.

According to details available with The Express Tribune, the NCA will work with all key law-enforcement partners including the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF), FIA and FBR to combat threats from organised crime.

Counter-narcotics

She also visited the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) Training Academy and discussed Counter-Narcotics matters with the ANF Director General Maj Gen Iqbal Malik.

Chaudhry Nisar and Theresa May signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation between the two countries’ counter-narcotics agencies in fighting drug trafficking.

The visit included a tour of the ANF facility.

Later in the day, the British Home Secretary also called on President Mamnoon where matters of Pakistan-UK joint cooperation were discussed.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (1)

  • Striver
    Sep 25, 2013 - 2:04PM

    Is stopping drone strikes not an issue of “mutual importance”. She is talking about a strategic relationship so she should also have said a few words to support the Pakistani government on cessation of drone strikes now that “AlQaida” have moved out of Pakistan.

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