The UK will supply a new, enhanced three-year package of counter improvised explosive device (C-IED) support to Pakistan, the country’s defence secretary Michael Fallon has revealed.
The latest support builds on the successful C-IED package provided by the UK between 2012 and 2015, and will enable Pakistan to find and defuse IEDs, which allegedly caused more than 16,000 casualties in the country during the past decade.
The package will also include vital training in how to gather and analyse forensic evidence from bomb scenes.
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."
To date, the UK had donated 12 million C-IED equipment units to Pakistan, at their request, to help the country develop effective and sustainable counter terrorism capabilities.
The C-IED equipment, supplied along with search equipment, vehicles, storage and flights, as well as training, enhances Pakistani police, civil defence and military capacity to dismantle IED networks, and improve intelligence available to countering emerging IED threats.
The C-IED programme also assists Pakistan in establishing a multi-agency capability for combating IEDs.
The Pakistani battalions who benefited from the UK support are said to be currently operating in counter-terrorism operations in the North Waziristan Agency, bordering Afghanistan.
Image: UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has offered a new C-IED support package to Pakistan during a visit to Islamabad. Photo: courtesy of Crown copyright.