Launch of Pakistan's Action to Counter Terrorism (PACT) with special reference to Sindh

26 February 2020, Karachi. Pakistan has made concrete efforts in combatting terrorism by empowering provincial criminal justice institutions to proactively detect and counter terrorist activitieswith the implementation of Pakistan's Action to Counter Terrorism (PACT) project in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in collaboration with the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA). 

Against this backdrop, and based on the success of Pakistan's Action to Counter Terrorism (PACT) KP, the UNODC Country Office Pakistan, in partnership with the European Union (EU) and the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), launched Project Pakistan's Action to Counter Terrorism (PACT) with special reference to Sindh, an 18-month long technical assistance programme for strengthening the criminal justice response to terrorism, on 26 February 2020. Under the project PACT with special reference to Sindh'sframework, the stakeholders aim to strengthen the coordination between Police, Prosecution, and Judiciary in Sindh; while enhancing information sharing with NACTA and other federal entities. This project aims to improve the investigative processes of Law Enforcement Agencies in the province of Sindh, and to promote the use of forensic evidence during the prosecution stages of terrorism related cases.

The launch ceremony opened with welcome remarks from Officer-in-Charge UNODC Pakistan Mr Danillo Campisi, who highlighted the role of UNODC and acknowledged its working relationship with the Government of Pakistan over four previous decades. He also identified several major achievements under PACT KP, including the successful execution of 'countering terrorism financing' training sessions for law enforcement officials and prosecutors. 

Mr Asif Saifullah Paracha, Member (Policy) NACTA then delivered his opening remarks, and appreciated the role of the EU and UNODC in working closely with NACTA to deliver technical support to Pakistan for preventing and countering terrorism. The launch was complemented by a detailed presentation on objectives and outcomes of the project. The project's first outcome deals with improved investigation processes and the use of forensic evidence in Sindh Police's Counter Terrorism Department (CTD); the second outcome's objective is enhanced capacity of the Sindh Law, Parliamentary Affairs, & Criminal Prosecution Department and Judiciary; and the third outcome aims for better provincial and inter-provincial coordination on CT.

Home Secretary Sindh Dr Usman Chachar reaffirmed to the audience the commitment and efforts from the Government of Sindh in collaborating with UNODC and other international partners for the purpose of overcoming the challenges posed by terrorism. In her remarks H.E. Ms Androulla Kaminara, Ambassador of the EU to Pakistan likewise highlighted the significance of PACT Sindh; as it will address CT challenges and gaps identified by the Sindh Rule of Law Roadmap to improve the quality of the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication processes of the province's criminal justice system.

The launch ceremony was graced by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chief Guest, who expressed his gratification for EU's and UNODCs' concentrated efforts in the conception and inception of PACT Sindh. He concluded his remarks by explaining how this project would complement the Government of Sindh's efforts in implementation the National Action Plan against terrorism and the rule of law roadmap of the province.

The launch also featured an Innovation Corner and a Knowledge Corner, where the former showcased a 3D virtual reality CRM Simulator; while the latter displayed publications developed during the course of Project PACT, highlighting events and activities undertaken. Ms Androulla Kaminara and other guests of the event visited the Innovation Corner, and experienced several crime scene scenarios through navigation and usage of the 3D simulator. Attendees also browsed through publications displayed at the Knowledge Corner, and were briefed on each publication.

The event was attended by government officials and law enforcement personnel from Sindh, representatives of the international community, media personnel, members of think tanks, scholars from academia, and students from educational institutions.