INTERIOR Minister Ijaz Ahmad Shah chairing a meeting of the board of governors of National Counter Terrorism Authority on Thursday.—APP
INTERIOR Minister Ijaz Ahmad Shah chairing a meeting of the board of governors of National Counter Terrorism Authority on Thursday.—APP

ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Minister retired Brig Ijaz Ahmad Shah on Thursday called for steps to strengthen the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta).

He was chairing a meeting of its board of governors.

However, in what appeared to be contrary to the minister’s expressed desire, a committee was formed to consider a proposal to cut the Nacta’s strength by over 52 per cent by abolishing 443 of the total 841 sanctioned posts.

Brig Shah insisted on strengthening the institution and transforming it into an efficient think tank.

Major decisions were taken during the meeting with unanimous approval of the members present. The meeting discussed in detail the 14 points on its agenda.

Panel formed to consider proposal for abolishing over 50pc of the authority’s sanctioned posts

“This (Nacta’s) role is significant in the context of measures undertaken by the country in connection with the Financial Action Task Force,” he said. He was of the opinion that financial and administrative steps should be taken to strengthen Nacta as an institution and increase its efficiency.

On the occasion, he directed the officials present to “bring out their best” using the resources available to them.

The minister also stressed the importance of keeping the records transparent at all times, particularly those pertaining to expenditures. “You must ensure that the record is kept properly, process is transparent and audits are done in time,” he said.

During the meeting, financial and administrative proposals submitted by Nacta’s National Coordinator Khalid Dad Lak were discussed in detail.

The federal minister and board members passed the budget as approved by the finance division.

Approval for pay scales of Nacta was also given by the board members along with medical benefits for employees in accordance with the rules and regulations as defined by the finance division.

A committee was also formed to review the proposal for changes in the number of sanctioned posts in the institution.

“I hope that Nacta will continue to serve with the best of its abilities in the best interest of the country,” Brig Shah said.

The meeting was attended by Senator Hidayat Ullah, Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmad, MNA Jamil Ahmad Khan, federal secretaries of interior, defence and law and justice departments and the finance division, directors general of federal agencies, all provincial home secretaries and all inspectors general of police.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2020