Minutes of the 7th Advisory Board meeting of NIOC

The 7th Advisory Board meeting of National Initiative against Organized Crime (NIOC) was held on Friday, 15th of May (2020) at 2pm, through a video link that was arranged by the NIOC Consultant on Communications Strategy Ammar Jaffri.

Director Tariq Khosa introduced new Advisory Board Member Ms Samina Ahmed, and Consultant Ammar Jaffri. Ms Ahmed of Brussels-based International Crisis Group is an expert on security and criminal justice issues. She is Director of ICG, and is currently in Islamabad. Mr Jaffri is former Additional Director General of the Federal Investigation Agency whose expertise in technology is well established.

Mr Tariq Parvez, President NIOC AB, welcome both new team members of NIOC Pakistan.

The following AB Members participated in the meeting: Tariq Parvez, Fiaz Toru, Zahid Hussain, Samina Ahmed and Fasi Zaka. Mr Zubair Habib from Karachi could not link up, having been stuck in Karachi traffic. NIOC Directorate was represented by Tariq Khosa, Director, Amir Rana, Secretary, and Hassan Sardar, Manager Administration. Deputy Director Ali Nekokara could not participate as his son was unwell. Consultants Kashif Noon and Ammar Jaffri also participated in this very productive meeting lasting an hour and half.

The Minutes of 6th AB Virtual Meeting held on 3rd of April 2020 were also approved.

Director informed the Board about extension of NIOC Pilot Project for two months of May and June 2020 due to Covid-19 challenges that affected the targets that had to be achieved during the first six months of the project approved and supported by Global Initiative Resilience Fund. He specially appreciated and thanked GI Resilience Fund Manager Ian Tennant and his team in Vienna for their generous and wholehearted support to NIOC Pakistan.

During the Covid-19 outbreak, NIOC is currently issuing a weekly Corona Crime Watch review as a result of decision taken during last AB Meeting on 3 April. Secretary NIOC Amir Rana is spearheading this important initiative, which has been appreciated by GI Resilience Fund as well as different international stakeholders who are recipients of the weekly review issued every Saturday. AB Members gave useful suggestions to add value to this weekly review.

The AB also decided that NIOC should come up with a short Paper on Terrorism in Pakistan during Covid-19 outbreak, especially in the context of conflict zone of Afghanistan and recent peace accord between the Taliban and the US. Amir Rana, Secretary NIOC would prepare this paper and take the help of AB Members and can seek assistance of any other professional of his choice to put together the paper on terrorism before 15 June 2020.

Secretary NIOC Amir Rana also informed the Board that a professional editor has been engaged to convert NIOC Analysis Papers on Terror Financing, Drug Trafficking, Human Smuggling and Cyber Crimes into Policy Briefs. This task would be completed before 07 June 2020.

AB Members were informed that NIOC Directorate will come up with a National Strategy against Organized Crime in Pakistan by 15 June 2020. Draft will be prepared by Consultant Kashif Noon. It will cover four categories of OC: terror financing, drug trafficking, human smuggling and cyber crimes.

It was also decided that a National Stakeholders’ Conference should be held during the third or last week of June provided Islamabad Club, the proposed venue of the moot, is opened as part of government policy of lockdowns during the coronavirus outbreak. Further modalities in this regard will be finalized in the 8th AB Meeting to be held on Friday 5 June 2020.

Another proposal was discussed in the context of holding Roundtables on a category of OC that NIOC is focusing on like terrorism, drug trafficking and cyber crimes. This can be a fortnightly feature to be hosted by an AB Member and participation by 3 or 4 experts at the national or international level. Consultant Ammar Jaffri will organize these round tables.

Mr Ammar Jaffri, Consultant on Communications Strategy, was tasked to come up with a Concept Paper on Engaging the Civil Society to Strengthen Community Resilience against Organized Crime. He will submit this concept paper before 31 May 2020.