Use of Digital Forensics in Counter Terrorism Cases

11 - 15 January 2021 - Lahore, Pakistan: The United Nations of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and European Union (EU) recognize the significance and scope of digital forensics which is rapidly expanding in the ever-growing arena of the digital world. Under the framework of Pakistan's Action to Counter Terrorism (PACT) Project, the UNODC Country Office Pakistan organized a five-day Basic Training on “Use of Digital Forensics in Counter Terrorism Cases” at the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) from 11-15 January 2021 for Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Sindh, Punjab and Baluchistan. The aim of this training was to communicate familiarity on the collection, preservation, and use of digital forensics data for effective conclusion of cases in lines with the latest tools and technologies. The training was attended by twenty-six (26) officers from specialized technical units of the CTD Sindh, Punjab and Baluchistan.

The content of the training session primarily focused on the introduction and scope of Digital Forensics; specifically, its identification, collection, preservation, and transportation. The trainees were given case studies to comprehend the concepts, using state-of-the-art mock crime scenes and other facilities at the PFSA. The course was delivered by the experts from the PFSA who provided hands-on training to the CTD officials on the tools and techniques used in the scientific examination, and the analysis of digital and cellular devices. The trainers guided the technical teams on how to perform a forensic investigation on digital evidence while maintaining the documented chain of custody for presentation as evidence in the court of law. 

On the final day of the training, the participants were taken to the CTD Punjab for a study visit where they were briefed by Mr. Jawad Qamar, Deputy Inspector General of Police, CTD Punjab about the operations and performance of CTD Punjab. The DIG CTD presented statistics and success stories of intelligence-based operations for elimination of terrorists of proscribed organizations and effective prosecution of terrorists while making use of latest technologies. He further elaborated factors contributing to the reduction of incidents of terrorism, sectarianism and extremism in Punjab Province. The participants were then taken to the technical wing of CTD Punjab where they were briefed on the tools and techniques they are using for criminal analysis and digital forensics. The participants lauded the efforts of CTD Punjab and appreciated the idea of bringing together officials from other provinces to share knowledge and experiences. 

The closing ceremony of the training was attended virtually by Mr. Francois Zabolt, Counter Terrorism Expert from EU Pakistan, Mr. Asif Saifullah Paracha, Member Policy NACTA from Islamabad and Dr. Muhammad Tahir Ashraf, Director General, PFSA who gave away certificates to the participants. All three officials gave their closing remarks in which they appreciated UNODC for organizing a meaningful training for CTDs from three provinces which provided a good opportunity for them to share knowledge and experiences.


This activity was made possible with the financial support of European Union.