UNODC Country Office Pakistan Facilitates 8th Integrated Border Management Workshop between Afghanistan and Pakistan at Turkish International Academy  Against Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC)

21 December 2018, Ankara. The 8 th Pakistan-Afghanistan Integrated Border Management Workshop was technically facilitated by the UNODC Country Office Pakistan at TADOC from 19-21 December 2018. Supported by the Government of Japan, the event encouraged close partnership between the two countries under the umbrella of the UNODC-sponsored Triangular Initiative.  

Welcoming the delegates Mr. Cesar Guedes, Representative UNODC Pakistan, expressed his pleasure in bringing together regional counterparts for strengthening integrated border management. 'This gathering of policy and operational level counterparts reflects the resolve and commitment by both governments to address common challenges posed by the scourge of drug trafficking and by other transnational organized crimes in the region', he stated. 'These Afghanistan-Pakistan workshops have helped UNODC in better understanding the complexity of the problems, for the purposes of capacity-building and promoting regional cooperation', he added. 

Mr. Selcuk Sevgel, Deputy Head KOM (Anti Smuggling and Organized Crime Department, Turkish National Police), expressed his gratitude to UNODC for facilitating bilateral interactions between the two brotherly countries. He hoped that the workshop would provide an opportunity to Afghanistan and Pakistan for improving collective responses against transnational criminal networks: 'The Turkish Police acknowledges UNODC's efforts in organizing regional workshops and training at TADOC, being its strategic partner and a well-recognized training institute.'

Colonel Mohammad Tahir Eidukhil, Counter Narcotics Police Afghanistan, headed the Afghan Delegation. He stressed the importance of building mutual trust and technical cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan. 'We need to continue building operational partnership in the region, through continued support by UNODC. While it is satisfying to interact with our Pakistani brothers through this forum, an effective regional response against transnational criminal elements would help the people of both countries in securing a better future', he emphasized. Other members of the Afghan delegation comprised officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Interior, Afghan Border Police, and Afghan Customs Department.

Leading the Pakistan Delegation Mr. Altaf Hussain, Director Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)   Balochistan, thanked UNODC COPAK for its continued capacity-building support. 'The Government of Pakistan has the sincere desire to improve cooperation with Afghanistan. We must secure our borders against the menace of drug trafficking, and smuggling of migrants and contraband items', he stated. Other members of the delegation represented the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Narcotics Control, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Frontier Corps (FC) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,   Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), and Pakistan Customs.

Comprehensive discussions were held between the two countries over a period of three days, culminating in the development of draft Recommendations for consideration by decision-makers at the policy level. The thematic areas included: capacity-building through provision of joint training and operational equipment; information-sharing at operational and tactical levels; simultaneous drug-interdiction operations; movement of people; and customs-to-customs cooperation. Lieutenant Colonel Khurram Rashid, Frontier Corps Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, led Pakistan's technical interventions for strengthening existing border cooperation mechanisms.  

UNODC Country Office Pakistan has played a pivotal role in facilitating the dialogue between policy and operational level officials of Afghanistan and Pakistan under the Triangular Initiative, as well other regional and international forums. These collaborative exercises have assisted UNODC in better understanding the complexity of problems being faced by regional law enforcement agencies, towards successful research and analysis, technical capacity-building, and promotion of interagency and regional cooperation.