Press Release


Islamic Republics of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan discuss ways to bolster mutual cooperation against trafficking of Afghan opiates



13 th Triangular Initiative Senior Officials Meeting, Islamabad Marriott Hotel, 11-12 December 2018

Islamabad - 12 December 2018 

ISLAMABAD,  A 2-day interaction between the counter-narcotics authorities of the Islamic Republics of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan concluded at Islamabad yesterday. The tripartite event entitled ' 13 th Triangular Initiative Senior Officials Meeting' was hosted by the Ministry of Narcotics Control, Government of Pakistan. It brought together counter-narcotics partners from the three neighboring countries to discuss ways and means for strengthening cooperation against the trafficking of Afghan opiates.

Mr. Arif Nawaz Khan Secretary Ministry of Narcotics Control, Government of Pakistan chaired the meeting, with Mr. Cesar Guedes UNODC Representative in Pakistan as the co-chair. 'We believe that strengthening of regional partnership against the massive flow of illicit drugs in the region, within the framework of this strategic collaborative process, can serve as a conduit for saving lives and improving their quality', noted Mr. Cesar Guedes in his opening remarks.

Mr. Arif Nawaz Khan thanked UNODC Country Office Pakistan for bringing together the Triangular Initiative Member States through this senior officials meeting. 'It was really heartening for the Government of Pakistan to welcome our regional partners on counter-narcotics. This close interaction has helped in finding workable solutions to our common challenges' he said at the closing ceremony.

Major General Muhammad Arif Malik, Director General Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) headed the Pakistan delegation, while delegations of Afghanistan and Iran were led by their respective Director Generals. The Representative UNODC Country Office Iran, and Head UNODC Regional Programme Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries were amongst the prominent UNODC delegates.

Since its inception in 2007, the UNODC-facilitated Triangular Initiative forum has served as a cornerstone of the regional approach to drug control. It is supported by the Paris Pact Initiative and Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries, which encompasses a range of programmes designed to reduce the poppy cultivation, trafficking, and consumption of drugs. UNODC offices in the three countries provide technical support to the respective host governments for implementing their commitments under this counter-narcotics forum.

Various regional cooperation mechanisms agreed under the Triangular Initiative include enhancement of the regional response through information-sharing; planning and conducting drug-interdiction operations; and establishment of Border Liaison Offices (BLOs). Through this 2-day meeting, the three sides have agreed, inter-alia, to strengthen BLOs; plan and conduct more simultaneous patrolling operations; and intelligence-led interdiction operations. The senior officials expressed interest to utilize each other's counter-narcotics training academies, to ensure better understanding and coordination.

The three countries have been combatting this scourge of illicit drug trafficking over a long period and at great cost. Many law enforcement officials, as well as ordinary citizens, have sacrificed their lives in the struggle against drug trafficking. The Triangular Initiative has helped the three countries in finding solutions to common challenges, by adhering to a comprehensive and balanced approach.


 12 December 2018