First Expert Working Group Meeting held on Countering Terrorism under phase three of UNODC Country Programme

27 July 2022, Islamabad - UNODC Pakistan under its Programme of Preventing and Countering Terrorism held its first expert working group (EWG) meeting at the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) headquarters in Islamabad on 26 July 2022. The meeting was chaired by Mr Muhammad Tahir Rai, National Coordinator (NC) NACTA, and approved the workplan for 2022-23 to be implemented by UNODC. It was attended by representatives from the Ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Law and Justice; Home Department Punjab, Counter Terrorism Department Punjab, the Home & Tribal Affairs Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and the Intelligence Bureau; whereas representatives from the Home & Tribal Affairs Department Balochistan, Home Department Sindh, Economic Affairs Division, and State Bank of Pakistan joined the meeting virtually via video link.

The EWG is a foundational pillar of the UNODC Country Programme 2022-25 governance arrangements. It provides technical and substantive input for programme implementation.

In his opening remarks NC NACTA Mr Rai acknowledged and appreciated the efforts of UNODC in working closely with the government during the implementation of its projects; and highlighted the new country programme 2022-2025 being the result of an in-depth consultative process with all stakeholders, and reflecting Government of Pakistan’s priorities. ‘I would like to underline that this programme is prioritizing result-oriented modern practices to address cross-border terrorism cases as well; such as utilizing effective means to gather electronic evidence from service providers, and preparing Mutual Legal Assistance requests. Also, we are looking forward to the assistance of UNODC in the digitalization of NACTA for establishing an improved and modern information collection and sharing platform’ he stated.

Dr Jeremy Milsom, Representative UNODC Pakistan, who joined virtually in his remarks drew special attention to the programme’s contribution towards the Government of Pakistan’s efforts, under the National Action Plan and National Security Policy, to overcome the threats and challenges posed by terrorism while improving the safety and security of people across the country.  ‘With the implementation of programme activities we aim to build the national capacities of the LEAs, Levies, CTD (Counter Terrorism Dept.), FMU (Financial Monitoring Unit), Prosecutors, and Judges; and to promote the use of digital forensic evidence in the preparation of terrorism cases. Also, we are aiming to operationalize the Mutual Legal Assistance Act, countering and preventing terrorist networks and reducing the risk of terrorism financing’ he noted.

After the opening remarks Syed Arslan, Advisor Sub-Programme IV in his presentation showcased UNODC’s successful implementation of counter terrorism projects in the last five years. In addition, a detailed workplan was presented, along with the activities to be implemented in the next two years.

The EWG after reviewing and providing its input thus approved the workplan, and gave its concurrence to the activities proposed therein.

In his closing remarks, NC NACTA Mr Rai appreciated the programme being focused and certain to improve investigation, prosecution during terrorism trials; and the use of modern tools i.e. digital & forensic in evidence-gathering in terrorism-related cases. He also announced through this meeting formal acceptance of the proposed programme and workplan; and pledged his support to UNODC in successful implementation of the programme.


The Programme is funded by Global Affairs Canada and the Bureau of International Narcotics & Law (INL) Enforcement Affairs, Pakistan.