Islamabad, June 30: UNDP, U.S. State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) and the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) Pakistan held a ground-breaking ceremony and launch event for INL supported projects at the ANF Academy in Islamabad. The key objectives of the projects are to provide new residential facilities and an academic block for women, and to assist ANF Academy in improving its training capacities.


The project amounting to a total of $1.2 million is expected to be completed in September 2023. The four-story building will include an academic block for the ANF Academy, and a dedicated residential facility for ANF women trainees and those from other counter narcotics law enforcement agencies. 


The new women’s hostel will accommodate approximately 25 ANF women, which will increase women’s participation in ANF training activities. The academic block will provide classrooms and training halls to accommodate an estimated 60 additional men and women trainees. It will therefore allow ANF to train more men and women officers. Furthermore, the new premises will also avail space for personnel from other counter narcotics law enforcement agencies to undertake research and analysis. 


The project ‘Countering Production and Trade in Illegal Drugs Through Improved Training Facilities for the ANF & Enhancing the Training Capabilities of the Anti-Narcotics Force’ is an important work stream of INL and UNDP’s broader efforts to improve training facilities and academic capabilities of the ANF Academy..


Director-General ANF Mr. Ghulam Shabbir Narejo highlighted that “INL and UNDP are trusted partners of ANF and have been supporting many critical capacity building and infrastructure development projects in Pakistan. They have contributed significantly to deliver effective counternarcotic law enforcement.” He also extended his appreciation to INL and UNDP for its ongoing support and partnership with ANF, to build stronger and highly professional law enforcement in Pakistan.


Speaking at the occasion, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. Ms. Aliona Niculita spoke about UNDP and INL’s ongoing strategic support to enhance law enforcement capacities across Pakistan. “UNDP and INL in partnership with ANF and other law enforcement institutions have worked on multiple projects including but not limited to, the Joint Police Training Center in Nowshera, Police Training Center in Quetta, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Prosecution Academy, and the Anti-Narcotics Force Academy. We hope that our initiatives will play a significant role in building efficient law enforcement agencies with skilled professionals to strengthen the rule of law and better serve the public in Pakistan. I am hopeful that the addition of the women’s hostel will encourage more women to join the Anti-Narcotics Force and progress in their careers, that is crucial for stronger law enforcement. This is one of the many interventions INL and UNDP are working on together to strengthen rule of law in Pakistan, enhance skills and capabilities of law enforcement officials and increase women’s representation in the forces”


United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. Ms. Mia Sato stressed on the significance of increasing women’s representation in law enforcement forces. “Pakistan recognizes the benefits of recruiting, training, and promoting more women officers but there are also multiple challenges in this regard. Creating an enabling environment for women in the force to thrive and encourage others to join is crucial and a positive first step”.


Assistant Secretary U.S. State Department INL Todd Robinson said that this groundbreaking event demonstrates the long-term partnership between the US Government and Pakistan, this year we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the partnership between INL and Pakistan under the banner of “Justice, Security, and Prosperity”, with more than $1 billion invested by INL over four decades to improve citizen security and enhance law enforcement capacity across Pakistan. “Global practices have shown that diverse workforces lead to more effective and broader decision-making, and diversity is critical for establishing and maintaining public trust in policing “.  He also expressed his thanks to UNDP for its tireless efforts as the project’s implementing partner and highlighted that today is an important milestone in INL, ANF and UNDP partnership to strengthen Pakistan’s law enforcement forces.


Federal Secretary Ministry of Narcotics-Control Ms. Humaira Ahmad said that the Ministry is committed to work together with its development partners to peruse our common objectives in combatting illicit drugs transiting through Pakistan. Promoting recruitment, retention, advancement, and gender mainstreaming of women police in Pakistan is an important step in this journey”.


Chief Guest Federal Minister Narcotics Honourable Mr. Nawabzada Shazain Bugti congratulated UNDP, INL and ANF on their efforts to increase women’s representation in the force. “Women in Pakistan are strong, resilient and motivated to excel in any field and this intervention will provide them a conducive environment at ANF to thrive in”.


This project is being implemented under the UNDP’s Strengthening Rule of Law Programme, which supports both supply and demand sides of the rule of law, justice, and security sector by strengthening institutional capacity, citizen rights, and by deepening the ongoing efforts to secure peace and stability.