UK makes counter explosives training offer to Pakistan
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has today offered Pakistan a new, enhanced three-year package of counter improvised explosive device (C-IED) support.
The offer, made during a visit to Islamabad, would build on the successful C-IED package provided by Britain between 2012 and 2015. As well as renewing support in finding and defusing IEDs, it would also include vital training in how to gather and analyse forensic evidence from bomb scenes. Alongside the 12 million of C-IED equipment gifted to Pakistan by the UK, the move would help to tackle an issue that has caused more than 16,000 casualties in the country during the past decade.
Speaking in Islamabad, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
By sharing British Counter-IED expertise, we have already trained 5,000 Pakistanis to defuse these evil and dangerous devices. This new offer means thousands more could be trained, saving lives and preventing life changing injuries.
Our counter-IED work here is all part of our close partnership with Pakistan and our shared determination to fight terrorism. By working together, we will make our streets safer at home in the UK and here in Pakistan.
The offer came as Mr. Fallon held a series of meetings in the Pakistani capital with the Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, the Chief of Army Staff Raheel Sharif, Minister for the Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif and National Security Advisor Sartaj Aziz. As well as C-IED, he discussed the crucial role of Pakistan in tackling security threats facing the South Asia region. Having just visited Kabul, Mr Fallon thanked them for helping to facilitate historic peace talks between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, reiterating that the UK stands ready to lend its support.