Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..

Islamabad: The Government of Denmark has launched a new defense cooperation program with Pakistan. The program was launched by the Danish Vice-Chief of Defense, Lieutenant General Per Ludvigsen, who is currently visiting Pakistan for the program launch along with delegation members from the Royal Danish Defense College.

The launch ceremony was held in Islamabad and was attended by high-level dignitaries from the Pakistani Government, military, diplomatic corps including senior defense analysts. 

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Lieutenant General Per Ludvigsen said that “It is my expectation that the military institutions involved in this new program will make strong efforts to get the best out of the program and thereby contribute to the fight against extremism and militancy, which the region is facing”.

The new defense program includes support to Pakistan’s military and civil security forces to counter the threat from IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and improve Pakistan’s border management control related to drugs, movement of militants and general smuggling. The program will also focus on strengthening the rule of law in Pakistan by improving the legislative frameworks and technical capacities that support police, prosecutors and judges to maintain the rule of law, free and fair trails, provide access to justice for citizens and ensure that trust is developed between the state and its citizens. The Danish-Pakistani cooperation program will also  address the maritime threats to Pakistan’s stability and security, which range from drug smuggling through illegal fishing to maritime pollution. Lastly, the cooperation program will include skill training courses on counter-narcotics, environmental protection and search and rescue operations.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Ms. Helle Nielsen, Chargé d' Affaires at the Embassy of Denmark said that “Denmark fully recognizes that the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan have suffered more from terrorism than perhaps any other country. Nothing is more important for us than to find solutions to peace and prosperity, why working together, build trust, create counter-terrorism and anti-crime networks and exchange best practices is more important than ever. This is exactly what we hope to achieve through our new regional program”.

The new program is part of an overall regional program which is under planning and aims to contribute to stability in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. The regional program will focus on supporting the development of more effective and accountable institutions that protect the civilian population and support processes to increase regional reconciliation and confidence building measures.