ISLAMABAD: United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC) Country Office Representative Cesar Guedes and Japanese Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Yusuke Shindo handed over 200 drugs and precursors identification kits to the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) during the handing-over ceremony at ANF Headquarters, Rawalpindi. The UNODC test kits, developed and produced by the Division for Policy Analysis & Public Affairs Laboratory & Scientific Section, was one of the agreed deliverables under the Japanese funded UNODC project, which is aimed at strengthening border security against illicit drug trafficking and related transnational organised crime. This is also part of UNODC efforts to enhance the operational capacity of drug law enforcement, especially ANF, in line with its Country Programme. Senior officials from the Japanese Embassy, UNODC and ANF were present on the occasion. ANF Chief of Staff Brigadier Sheikh Ali Muhammad thanked the government, the Japanese people and UNODC for their continuous support to the government of Pakistan, especially ANF, for building their operational capacity in countering numerous existing and emerging challenges posed by drug trafficking in the country and the region. Lastly, Major General Nawaz assured his continued support in all mutual endeavours. UNODC Country Office Representative Cesar Guedes said that UNODC along with its international donors especially Japan is committed to strengthening operational capacities of ANF and other law enforcement agencies for addressing drug trafficking and global organised crime issues through proactive responses. Cesar Guedes thanked the government for committing to smooth implementation of the Japanese funded project activities and specially thanked the Japanese government for its commitment and generous financial support for this very important project. Yusuke Shindo acknowledged the efforts done by UNODC and ANF and highlighted the importance of these drugs and precursors identification kits to enhance ANF capacity for effective interdiction and investigation of illicit drugs. He reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to helping Pakistan combat all types of transnational organised crime including illicit drug trafficking which hinder the economic development and over all prosperity of the country. He noted that enhancing the border security between Pakistan and Afghanistan is crucial as the stability of the region is essential to the national security of Pakistan. UNODC country office in Pakistan has been active for over 35 years and works in close collaboration with the government. Its mandate is to assist the national institutions in their efforts to overcome the challenges associated with transnational organised crime, thereby contributing towards the nation’s development. Published in Daily Times, September 14th 2018.