The European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Pakistan launched the Pakistan’s Action to Counter Terrorism (PACT) project to help the government implement the National Action Plan (NAP).
The UNODC’s project will be the first of its kind to help Pakistan’s efforts in fighting terrorism. The EU funded three-year technical assistance project worth seven million euros was launched at a local hotel in Islamabad on Tuesday. The aim of the project is to strengthen the criminal justice system in Pakistan to counter terrorism.
UNODC officials, while sharing details of the project, said that PACT has been jointly developed by Pakistan and UNODC, with special reference to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The project aims to strengthen pre-investigations, investigations, prosecutions, adjudication process, and will also promote the use of forensic evidence during investigations.
Moreover, PACT will also help develop a strong liaison between provincial and federal authorities, including the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), K-P and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) police’s Counter Terrorism Departments (CTD).
Speakers urged for a need to strengthen international collaboration in order to root out terrorism and restore peace and stability in the region. They were of the view that at present terrorism is posing a serious threat to the world and is the top national security agenda for all countries.
UNODC Country Representative Cesar Guedes, in his address, said, “UNODC has been collaborating with the government for over 37 years and this will be the first time that it would be providing assistance in the area of counter terrorism.” He added that the UN agency will be working closely with the relevant stakeholders at both the provincial and federal levels in partnership with the EU.
Meanwhile, EU’s envoy to Pakistan Jean-François Cautain said, “There is a need for strong international collaboration to counter terrorism.” He also said that counter terrorism remains a top priority in the EU’s security dialogue with Pakistan, adding that PACT is the ‘next step’ in this longstanding partnership.