First advisory board meeting
Subject: Minutes of the 1st Meeting of the Advisory Board of NIOC Pakistan
The first meeting of the advisory board of the National Initiative against Organized Crime (NIOC) Pakistan was held on November 9, 2019, in Islamabad.
Mr. Tariq Pervaz, former Director-General Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and founder National Coordinator National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), presided over the meeting.
The director of NIOC Pakistan Mr. Tariq Khosa, former DG FIA, briefed the members about the background of the initiative. Key points of his briefing were as follows:
- The NIOC Pakistan is an independent initiative against organized crime in Pakistan established with the support of Vienna-based Global Initiative Resilience Fund which is part of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, Geneva.
- NIOC Pakistan aims to build community resilience and influence public policy to combat organized crime.
- The pilot phase will be for duration of 6 months, with an aim to jumpstart not only the discussion around transnational organized crime in Pakistan but also to facilitate the government’s work and build partnerships with the community in facing the challenges through advocacy and awareness campaigns.
- With a federal governance structure having multiple layers of the stakeholders, a complex criminal justice system, and law enforcement institutions operating in silos, technical assistance on how to commence with policy formation on the issues will be a key deliverable under the proposed pilot.
The President of the NIOC Advisory Board and chairperson of the meeting, Mr. Tariq Parvez, while endorsing the objectives spelled out by the director, emphasized that NIOC, comprising a small group of apolitical professionals, will provide an independent point of view to the policymakers.
After the initial briefings by the Director and President, the Advisory Board members approved the renaming of the project pilot as National Initiative against Organized Crime (NIOC) Pakistan. The other items on the agenda included:
- Need assessment for the organized crime mapping in Pakistan
- A strategy to counter organized crimes in Pakistan
- Monthly Newsletter and Website of the NIOC
- Creating a Network of the stakeholders
The advisory board members agreed that there was a dire need for crime mapping exercise in Pakistan, which should become part of a comprehensive data within the country. However, the NIOC Pakistan has a limited timeframe and resources for its pilot phase, so the focus would be on developing the strategies for countering certain specific organized crimes. The following organized crime categories were approved to develop nation-wide strategies after consultation with relevant stakeholders:
- Terror Financing
- Drug Trafficking
- Human Trafficking
- Cyber Crimes
The following decisions were taken by the Board Members:
- It was agreed that the Strategy Papers on each category of the themes would be prepared. Mr. Tariq Parvez agreed to provide strategic guidance on terror financing research; Mr. Tariq Khosa on drug and human trafficking; and Mr. Fasih Zaka on cybercrimes. PIPS will identify researchers and experts to work on the strategy papers. It was decided that the stakeholders roundtable on November 22, 2019, will be held in Islamabad to follow-up on the the themes mentioned above and identify contributors as well as civil society organizations to partner with.
- The NIOC secretariat at PIPS was assigned the task to issue a monthly newsletter, covering the activities of the initiative. The members agreed upon setting up the website and social media of the NIOC Pakistan for the broader outreach of the initiative. Mr. Fasih Zaka, a member of the AB, agreed to assist in this process. PIPS will also be assigned to design and print the brochure/cards/ letterheads and logo of NIOC Pakistan.
- The AB members also endorsed that there was a need to create a Network of about 30/40 professionals/experts/champions for a cause against organized crime in Pakistan. The task will start with an initial roundtable of the stakeholders on Friday, November 22, at Islamabad Club from 3 to 5 pm.
The following attended the board meeting:
- Tariq Parvez (President AB)
- Tariq Khosa (Director NIOC)
- Zahid Hussain (Member AB)
- Mr Zubair Habib (Member AB)
- Amir Rana (Secretary NIOC)
- Muhammad Ali Nakokara (Deputy Director NIOC)
- Fasih Zaki (Member AB)
- Hassan Sardar (Manager Administration and Finance)
Mr. Fiaz Khan Toru, Member AB, was not able to attend the meeting because of a death in the family.
Note: Minutes drafted by Amir Rana, Secretary NIOC and approved by Tariq Khosa, Director NIOC for circulation amongst the participants.