UNODC enhances operational capacities of the Anti-Narcotics Force in Balochistan province

Islamabad, 3 October 2016- The UNODC Country Office in Pakistan and the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF), Government of Pakistan, have successfully inaugurated the construction of various ANF police stations across Balochistan. Supported by Canada and Japan, this is a key achievement in the UNODC's ongoing work under its Pakistan Country Programme (2010-2016). The activity aims to enhance the ANF's operational capacities across the various drug trafficking routes emanating from Afghanistan and crossing through the rugged terrains of Balochistan.

With Pakistan as the main transit country in the region, this initiative offers an effective response against drug trafficking in Pakistan and beyond, through establishing and operationalising the ANF's police stations in Dalbandin, Panjgur, Turbat, Gwadar and Hub in Balochistan. Being implemented under the UNODC's Sub-programme-1 " Illicit Trafficking and Border Management, " the initiative will deploy the ANF's operational resources in the main cities located on the trade transit, as they serve as the major economic hubs in Balochistan.  These police stations will improve counter-narcotics and border management procedures, with the aim of facilitating trade while interdicting unwanted flows. They will form part of a larger communication network between the ANF and other law enforcement agencies including the Frontier Corps, Pakistan Customs and local civil administration, thus effectively addressing counter-narcotics through an inter-agency approach. 

Mr. Cesar Guedes, the UNODC Country Representative, under whose leadership this project has finally materialised, stated that, "these strategically important ANF police stations in Balochistan will strengthen Pakistan's role as the first line of defence against drug trafficking from its western borders, and it will help form a containment ring around the source, as expressed by Major General Khawar Hanif, the Director General of the ANF," said Mr. Guedes.

The Narcotics Control Division (Ministry of Interior and Narcotics Control) and ANF have recognised the importance of the capacity building support provided by the UNODC, under its Pakistan Country Programme (2010-2016). As the chair of the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) on counter-narcotics in Pakistan, the ANF has been closely interacting with the UNODC to address the challenges of drug trafficking in the country and beyond. Both counterparts envisage furthering the achievements made so far, such as record narcotics seizures by the ANF over the last two years, international cooperation achievements under the Triangular Initiative and other international forums, as well as promotion of the ANF Academy as the regional centre of excellence in counter-narcotics training. The academy has been awarded the ISO-9001-2008 international standard.

UNODC envisions to go beyond the initially set objectives, by introducing the next Country Programme (2016-2019), aimed at fostering greater national and international counter-narcotics and interagency cooperation. Through this high-profile capacity-building initiative, UNODC has vowed to build the ANF's operational capacities, in order to improve counter-narcotics and border control for gathering and sharing information, interdiction, investigations and prosecution of drug traffickers and trafficking networks.