Fortifying Pakistan's Counter-Terrorism Efforts: Navigating the Complexities of Mutual Legal Assistance and Electronic Evidence

20 November 2023, Karachi - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in collaboration with the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) and the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and funded by the United Nations Peace and Development Trust Funds, held a pivotal workshop for counter-terrorism officials on drafting mutual legal assistance requests and the intricacies of requesting electronic evidence in terrorism-related cases.

A total of 21 participants, including two female attendees, took part in the workshop. They represented various law enforcement agencies, such as the Federal Investigating Agency (FIA), Financial Monitoring Unit, Pakistan Customs, Anti-Narcotics Force,  Pakistan Coast Guards, Provincial Home Department Balochistan, and Provincial  Home Department Sindh.

The workshop’s core mission was to deepen the understanding of electronic evidence collection across borders, adhere to legal frameworks, and foster international cooperation and mutual legal assistance. It aimed to familiarize practitioners with practical guides customized for Pakistan, enhancing their ability to draft and process international requests for electronic evidence. This workshop aimed at building the capacity of Pakistan’s law enforcement officials, equipping them with cutting-edge skills to tackle terrorism with a focus on leveraging digital evidence.

Participants delved into topics ranging from data preservation, direct requests to service providers for voluntary data disclosure, to comprehensive mutual legal assistance (MLA) practices. Key sessions involved representatives from TikTok,, the Department of Justice of the United States, and the Department of Justice Canada, discussing MLA procedures and offering a global perspective on obtaining electronic evidence.

The sessions were tailored to address the framework of electronic evidence in Pakistan, with discussions on casework practices for obtaining and providing electronic evidence through MLA, emphasizing the seamless integration of theoretical knowledge with pragmatic application.

The role of Pakistan’s Central Authority was highlighted, underscoring its significance in the MLA process and its pivotal position in the exchange of electronic evidence across jurisdictions.

At the conclusion of the workshop, participants expressed their appreciation for UNODC's efforts in organizing the event and acknowledged that they departed equipped with newfound knowledge, tools and ready to forge ahead against the ever-present threat of terrorism.


The successful training workshop was made possible with the generous support of peace and development trust funds.


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