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US provides security equipment for Pak paramilitary troops

The US handed over security equipment worth over $1.5 million to Pakistani paramilitary forces as part of efforts to improve their capability to counter militants and terrorists operating in the restive northwestern tribal areas.

world Updated: Jan 27, 2009 10:43 IST

The US on Monday handed over security equipment worth over $1.5 million to Pakistani paramilitary forces as part of efforts to improve their capability to counter militants and terrorists operating in the restive northwestern tribal areas.

US Ambassador Anne Patterson handed over the equipment, including helmets, bulletproof vests and communications and office equipment, to Maj Gen Tariq Khan of the Frontier Corps at a training centre in Warsak.

More equipment, including armoured vehicles, will be handed over to the Frontier Corps in the next few months, said a statement from the US embassy. The US has so far donated security equipment worth about $43.8 million to the Frontier Corps.

"This is a part of ongoing efforts to assist and recognise the valiant efforts and sacrifices of the Frontier Corps and NWFP police," the statement said.

The US has been working with the Frontier Corps since September 2001, providing its "critical security and law enforcement equipment".

American military personnel began a training programme last year to turn the Frontier Corps into an effective counter-insurgency force. The 80,000-strong paramilitary force has historically been poorly armed and trained though it is currently at the forefront of a campaign against the local Taliban.

Meanwhile, the US envoy also handed over 32,400 packets of high nutrient biscuits to the Commission of Afghan Refugees to be distributed to families at the Kacha Ghari camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) or people displaced by violence in northwestern Pakistan.