Minutes of NIOC’s 8th Advisory Board Meeting

The 8th Advisory Board Meeting of National Initiative against Organized Crime (NIOC) was held on Friday, 5th of June 2020, virtually through Zoom platform. Mr Tariq Parvez, President AB, chaired the meeting. The AB members including Zahid Hussain, Samina Ahmed, Zubair Habib and Fasi Zaka participated. Mr Fiaz Toru could not attend due to some personal commitments. Director Tariq Khosa, Deputy Director Ali Nekokara, Secretary Amir Rana and Manager Administration Hassan Sardar participated. Both NIOC Consultants as well as Lead Researcher Kashif Noon and Communication Strategist Ammar Jaffri also attended.

Minutes of the 7th AB Meeting, held on 15th of May, were approved.

Highlights of the meeting including decisions made are listed below:

  • Secretary Amir Rana presented outline of a policy brief on “Terrorism and Covid-19.” After a discussion about some latest developments in the context of resurgence of militancy, the outline was accordingly approved. Amir Rana will finalize the policy brief in the 3rd week of June.
  • Policy briefs on “Drug Trafficking in Karachi,” “Drug Situation in Pakistan” and “Human Smuggling and Trafficking in Pakistan” were approved for further dissemination and publication; these have already been edited. Policy briefs on “Terror Financing” and “Cyber Crimes” would be edited soon and finalized by mid-June.
  • Consultant Kashif Noon presented an outline of a draft “National Strategy against Organized Crime.” He was asked to submit the first draft by 15th of June.
  • Consultant Ammar Jaffri presented an outline of “Community Outreach Strategy” that would be put in place in the second half of 2020. He was asked to finalize the same by 15th of June.
  • [The meeting was apprised that] in accordance with the decision taken in the 7th AB Meeting on 15 May, NIOC organized first Roundtable on Terrorism and Covid-19 on 4 June. Director NIOC Tariq Khosa moderated the discussion. Three eminent panelists Zahid Hussain Samina Ahmed and Amir Rana carried out a very professional discussion. Director NIOC presented a six-point national agenda at the end of the discussion by recommending the way forward for Pakistan.
  • Next NIOC webinar will be hosted by AB Member Fasi Zaka on 18 June on the topic of Cyber Harassment during Covid-19.
  • NIOC’s Plan of Activities for July-December 2020 were discussed. It was agreed to expand the scope of NIOC mandate to include the full spectrum of terrorism as it poses a main threat to Pakistan through Organized Criminal Networks. Emphasis will be placed on CT and CVE strategies.
  • Another area of focus was criminal justice reforms in the context of OC. Director NIOC informed that Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, will join NIOC as Criminal Justice Advisor. He will be associated in an honorary capacity.
  • As AB Member Fiaz Toru is very committed in his personal ventures, he asked not to be included in the Advisory Board from July 2020. Director NIOC informed that Jawaid Akhtar, former deputy chief constable of the West Yorkshire Police UK had agreed to be a Member of NIOC AB. He has vast experience in dealing with organized crime in the UK.
  • Director NIOC also sought proposals from AB Members about the performance of NIOC since its inception on 01 November 2019. While some suggestions were made, the Members undertook to convey those through email to the Director.
  • President AB Tariq Parvez informed the members about a USIP Initiative on Police Reforms Follow-up in Pakistan. He wanted collaboration from NIOC for this initiative. Since justice sector reforms would be part of the expanded mandate of NIOC from July, the members assured him of support.
  • OC National Strategy will be released in the last week of June before completion of NIOC Pilot Project phase.