Launch of Pakistan Terrorism Prevention Programme

24 January 2020, Islamabad. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Country Office Pakistan, in partnership with the Ministry of Interior (MOI), launched Pakistan's Terrorism Prevention Programme (PTP2), a four-year technical assistance framework aimed at strengthening the criminal justice response in Pakistan for countering and preventing terrorism. A key objective of PTP2 is to support Federal and Provincial stakeholders by establishing common practices, as a means of harmonizing and synergizing efforts in preventing and countering terrorism more effectively. Under the framework of PTP2, projects will be implemented for enhancing the skills and knowledge of criminal justice officials: to strengthen the rule of law and governance, and to promote human rights. 

The launch was attended by heads of diplomatic missions and their staff, High Commissionars, senior government officials, representatives of the international community, media personnel, local research institutes, and students from educational institutions. The Minister for Interior, Brigadier (R) Ijaz Shah officiated as Chief Guest; Joint Secretary Ministry of Interior (MOI), Mr Mujtaba Joyo; Chief Terrorism Prevention Branch UNODC, Mr Masood Karimipour; and Additional Secretary MOI, Dr Fakhre Alam were present as special invitees. 

Dr Jeremy Milsom, Country Representative UNODC in his opening remarks welcomed the guests, and highlighted UNODC's close working relations with the Government of Pakistan in overcoming the challenges posed by terrorism. He emphasised UNODC's mandate to provide technical assistance to Member States in preventing terrorism, in accordance with the framework of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted in 2006. 

Mr Mujtaba Joyo delivered a detailed presentation on the objectives of PTP2. He listed key thematic areas under which experts would deliver support to all provinces to counter terrorism. He also placed emphasis on alignment of the newly-launched programme's objectives and activities with UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5: gender equality, and UN SDG 16: peace, justice, and strong institutions. Following this the expected results of PTP2 were outlined, with improvement in the processes of rule of law in counter-terrorism cases as the major anticipated outcome. Mr Joyo stressed the need for engaging youth in efforts to counter terrorism, and enumerated the several institutions designated as stakeholders in this programme.

Following the opening addresses the programme was formally launched, after which Dr Fakhre Alam reaffirmed to the attendees GoP's commitment to preventing terrorism. He added, 'Our envisaged activities under youth and community engagement, and through strategic communication, would foster greater trust and partnership between the Police and communities; whilst specialist training would be imparted to investigators and prosecutors for countering the financing of terrorism'.

Mr Masood Karimipour then highlighted the significance of PTP2 in complementing Pakistan's efforts to implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism (CT) Strategy, as PTP2 is a specifically tailored programme for aiding development of a subcommittee group to fully implement the National Action Plan to counter terrorism. He also elaborated on the third pillar of global CT strategy, which deals with measures adopted to build states' capacity for preventing and combatting terrorism, and on strengthening the role of the United Nations system in this regard. With reference to UNODC's achievements in this context, Mr Karimipour added that having trained 30,000 law enforcement practitioners on terrorism prevention strategies, and drafted 179 papers of national legislation duly adopted by UN member states, experts from the Terrorism Prevention Branch would bring requisite and extensive experience for the implementation of PTP2's objectives.

Brigadier (R) Ijaz Shah shared his views on the importance of sensitizing our society and community for effective terrorism prevention. He reiterated the objectives of the programme, stating that 'The project we are launching today would contribute towards a paradigm shift, and deliver support to the Ministry of Interior to develop skills and knowledge in common amongst law enforcement across all Provinces'. Concluding the event, he thanked Mr Masood Karimipour, and noted that the presence of officials from the Ministry of Interior signalled a strong commitment by UNODC and MoI to implementing the project.

A significant feature of this launch was an Innovation Corner and a Knowledge Corner set up by UNODC's ongoing PACT ('Pakistan's Action to Counter Terrorism') project being implemented with the assistance of the European Union (EU). The innovation corner showcased a 3D virtual reality CRM Simulator, while the knowledge corner displayed publications developed during the course of Project PACT highlighting events and activities undertaken. On event conclusion Brig (R) Ijaz Shah, Mr Masood Karimipour, and the other guests and attendees visited the innovation corner and experienced several crime scene scenarios through navigation and usage of the 3D simulator; as well as the knowledge corner exhibiting the milestones and achievements of PACT. 


Media Coverage: