US announces new counterterrorism initiatives to bolster capabilities of Balochistan Police

United States Ambassador to Pakistan Donald A. Blome unveiled four new initiatives to bolster the capabilities of Pakistani law enforcement in their efforts to safeguard local communities in the country’s southwest,

The initiatives were announced by the embassy said in a statement on November 20, 2023.

Blome, along with Inspector General of Police Shaikh and representatives from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), also inaugurated Balochistan’s first Women and Juvenile Facilitation Center. The center was constructed in collaboration with UNODC and enhances the ability of law enforcement to protect and serve women and girls.

During the trip, Blome also met with Chief Minister of Balochistan Ali Mardan Khan Domki and discussed a range of topics including US assistance programs, and the ambassador “reaffirmed strong US support for the economic development of all parts of Pakistan, including Balochistan.”

Four new initiatives in Balochistan

During a visit to Quetta on Monday, Blome announced four new projects, including the expansion of an anti-terror training facility, constriction of new police stations, upgradation of existing ones and equipment support.

“It is an honor to stand with you today to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to Pakistan as it works to protect and defend its people from the scourge of terrorism.  The police and law enforcement officials assembled here are on the front lines of that fight every single day,” the U.S. Ambassador said.

Emphasizing the importance of the new facilities, he noted that more than 50 officers have made the ultimate sacrifice, laying down their lives in the line of duty, in the tragic attacks over the past few months in Balochistan.

The four new initiatives include:

  • Anti-Terrorist Force Training Facility Expansion: The United States announced a $4 million assistance package to facilitate the expansion of Balochistan Police’s Anti-Terrorist Force training facility, doubling its current capacity. This will allow simultaneous instruction for an additional 800 trainees.
  • Upgraded Police Stations: Washington allocated $2 million to repair and upgrade 10 flood-damaged police stations. These facilities will now include modern infrastructure, such as digital record management and support for alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, and will also feature dedicated gender desks that will provide a private space for vulnerable populations to report crimes and receive special care for problems or injuries resulting from those crimes.
  • Construction of New Police Stations: The new initiatives include an additional $2 million for the construction of 10 new police stations to improve service to women, girls, and all Pakistanis.
  • Equipment Support: Recognizing the risks faced by law enforcement officers, the United States announced a $250,000 equipment grant to better protect enforcement officers as they undertake their duties.

Pakistan and U.S. cooperation on civilian security

The United States and Pakistan have cooperated on civilian security and rule of law for more than 40 years. Their partnership involves justice institutions and providing law enforcement agencies with tools to secure Pakistan’s border, fight narcotics trafficking and combat terrorism.

“We have helped Pakistan secure its border, fight narcotics trafficking, and combat terrorism.  We have provided lifesaving protective equipment, improved law enforcement training curriculum, built and upgraded police stations, and helped ensure gender-inclusive policing. Taken together, these actions make Pakistan safer, stronger, and more secure,” Ambassador Blome said.

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