ISLAMABAD: A European Union envoy in Pakistan on Thursday said the bloc looks forward to boosting cooperation with Pakistan to curb “illegal migration” as well as boost pathways for legal migration in a mutually beneficial partnership.
Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Pakistan Philipp Gross said that the 2020 New Pact on Migration and Asylum foresees the development of a tailor-made comprehensive, balanced and mutually beneficial partnership between the EU and Pakistan.
“The EU looks forward to further deepen cooperation, both to curb illegal migration and to strengthen pathways for legal migration,” Mr Gross said while speaking at the “Integrated Border Management Training Conference” on Thursday.
The moot highlighted the importance of cooperation between the EU and Pakistan regarding training initiatives related to integrated border management and the relevant law enforcement measures.
According to the speakers, human smuggling and trafficking were also linked with the narco trade, arms smuggling, movement of terrorists etc and a broader platform with the participation of all stakeholders would be established to curb these crimes through collective experience.
500 officers trained
An EU-supported project “Integrated Border Management in Silk Routes countries” has so far trained 500 officers of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) since its launch in 2019 to identify and curb human smuggling.
The training held under the partnership programme between the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and Pakistan is in addition to localised training manuals developed to deal with the movement of people through forged documents.
During the conference, 21 FIA master trainers, equipped by ICMPD, reflected on their experiences in delivering training to their colleagues on document security, behavioural analysis and leadership. ICMPD also handed over the three manuals on training, which would be used by the FIA in their continuous training programmes.
While FIA Director General Mohsin Hassan Butt said that the education of FIA officers was the key to preventing irregular migration and border-related crimes. He added that the strategy will be executed collectively by the FIA academy and the FIA immigration wing and with the assistance of international partners.
The master trainers of the FIA will also provide on-the-job training to their colleagues to impart knowledge learned from the international trainers to fill the gap created by transfers of trained officers to other postings.
Apart from the training, the international donors were providing modern equipment as well as investing in the required infrastructure to curb human smuggling and illegal border movement.
ICMPD Head of Office Raana Rahim said that the efforts of international partners have a tangible impact on the performance of FIA to curb human trafficking.