US funding helping to improve civilian law enforcement capacity: Envoy



U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome on Thursday said that over the past 75 years, the United States has invested more than a billion dollars to strengthen Pakistan’s civilian law enforcement capacity and keep Pakistani citizens safe.

He made these remarks during the ceremony organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC) Representative Jeremy Milsom and Balochistan Police Inspector General Abdul Khalique Sheikh to celebrate the successful completion of a $4,578,696 Improving Rule of Law Program in Balochistan, funded by the U.S. Embassy and executed by UNODC. The five-year program commenced in February 2017 and concluded in December 2022.

In his remarks, Ambassador Blome said, “Today we recognize the completion of a six-year effort between the United States, Balochistan, and UNODC. In 2017 the United States was the sole funder for this project, providing $4.5 million for the Improving Rule of Law in Balochistan project.

The United States played a significant role in the training of Pakistan’s civilian law enforcement capacity and this has included training for more than 120,000 Pakistani police officers, incorporating international standards for crime response, investigations, and handling of evidence into their courses.

“We contributed to the construction of over 230 border posts along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. In Balochistan, we have provided over $20 million to purchase bulletproof vests, helmets, and vehicles to enhance law enforcement operations and keep officers safe while fighting crime, he added.”

Ambassador Blome also highlighted U.S. flood assistance, adding “To date, we have committed more than $200 million in flood-response, disaster resilience, and food security assistance. Our support includes urgently needed food, safe water, sanitation and hygiene improvements, financial help, and shelter assistance. It also includes work with the Balochistan Police, including replacing police stations destroyed in the floods and providing a new wall and drainage system to better protect the Balochistan Police Training College in Quetta. We are doing what friends and partners do in times of hardship – support each other.”

In his opening remarks, Jeremy Milsom, Country Representative, UNODC Country Office in Pakistan highlighted UNODC’s continued support towards improving the rule of law sector in Balochistan. He thanked U.S. Embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) section for its support and appreciated the Government of Balochistan’s collaboration towards strengthening and reforming criminal justice institutions in the province.