ISLAMABAD - Denmark and Pakistan on Tuesday launched a new defense cooperation programme to support Pakistan’s military and civil security forces in countering the threat of extremism and Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

The programme was launched by the visiting Danish Vice-Chief of Defense, Lieutenant General Per Ludvigsen in Islamabad.

The general is currently visiting Pakistan for the programme launch along with delegation members from the Royal Danish Defense College.

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

The new defense programme 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 programme 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 programme will also address the maritime threats to Pakistan’s stability and security, which range from drug smuggling through illegal fishing to maritime pollution.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Helle Nielsen, Chargé d’ Affaires at the Embassy of Denmark said, “Denmark fully recognizes that the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan have suffered more from terrorism than perhaps any other country.”

Meanwhile, Danish Vice Chief of Defence, General Per Ludvigsen called on Secretary Defence Lt. General (Retd) Muhammad Alam Khattak in his office in Rawalpindi.

On the occasion, the secretary highlighted that Pakistan considers Denmark as an important country of EU in NORDIC Region. He added that Denmark must play its role in appreciating Pakistan’s role in fight against terrorism and sacrifices rendered during last 14 years.

Denmark has played its role in Afghanistan which was highlighted by the visiting Vice Chief. He said Danish forces played their role in the fight against-terror in Afghanistan.

Pakistan and Denmark both showed interest in enhancing defence cooperation. Pakistan is interested in establishing mutual defence cooperation program with Denmark.

The possible areas of cooperation discussed were; Trainings and courses in military institutes, exchange of observers in military exercises and exchange of visits.