The Foreign Secretary William Hague:
The UK is committed to developing counter terrorism capability in Pakistan to promote the Government’s counter terrorism objectives under CONTEST. As part of this approach, the UK assists key partner nations to develop effective and sustainable counter terrorism capabilities which operate in line with agreed international human rights standards. By helping countries to undertake counter terrorism activities locally, it targets the problem at source and reduces the risk of a terrorist attacks.
Pakistan has a particularly severe problem with improvised explosive device (IED) attacks from terrorist groups and insurgents. Pakistan has sought assistance from the UK in tackling this threat and developing the capabilities of its security forces. The UK is delivering a counter improvised explosive device (CIED) programme to assist Pakistan in establishing a Multi-Agency capability for tackling IEDs. The programme aims to build capacity to dismantle IED networks and improve intelligence available to countering emerging IED threats.
The project is now in its second year of a three year programme. A total of £3.495m was allocated during year one which focussed on training and gifting equipment for the Pakistan Army and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police. A Departmental gifting Minute was laid before the House on 15 October 2012, setting out details of the gift.
The proposal, in this case, is to gift counter improvised explosive device (CIED) equipment and training to Pakistan, totalling £3.5m. Of this £3.5m, an estimated £3.22m will be gifted as equipment. The £3.5m comes from the Government’s Counter Terrorism programme fund (£2.75m) and from the Danish government (£750,000).
The breakdown of equipment being gifted and approximate costs is as follows:
- Counter Improvised Explosive Device (CIED) Equipment (£2.1m)
- Search Equipment (£700k)
- Vehicles (£300k)
- Storage and flights (£120,000 set aside)
Alongside this, the cost of training, project delivery, key leader engagement and maintenance costs will be approximately £280,000. The training aims to enhance Pakistani police, civil defence and military capacity to dismantle IED networks and improve intelligence available to countering emerging IED threats.
The package of equipment and training will provide the military and law enforcement agencies with a valuable and sustainable capability to deal with the threat. The request for UK’s assistance in tackling the CIED issue is an excellent opportunity to work in partnership with Pakistan to develop their indigenous capability and mitigate the terrorist risk to the UK, Pakistan, the UK’s interests in Pakistan and wider South Asia region.
The proposed gift has been assessed and approved against the consolidated EU & National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. The proposed gift has been scrutinised and approved by the cross-HMG Overseas Contest Group, which has confirmed that it fits with the Government’s strategic and delivery objectives. FCO officials also assessed the project for human rights risks, using the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance guidelines established by the Foreign Secretary in 2011.
The gifting Minute was laid before the House of Commons yesterday. If, during the period of fourteen Parliamentary sitting days beginning on the date on which the Minute was laid, a Member signifies an objection by giving notice of a Parliamentary Question or of a Motion in relation to the Minute, or by otherwise raising the matter in the House, final approval of the gift will be withheld pending an examination of the objection.
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