ISLAMABAD - The Senate Standing Committee on Interior yesterday expressed its serious concerns over the government failure to summon the Board of Governors (BoG) meeting of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) in violations of the law.

A meeting of Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control was held under the chair of Senator Rehman Malik to discuss the overall performance of the top counter terrorism body of the country.

National coordinator NACTA Ihsan Ghani while giving a briefing to the meeting said that agenda for meeting of BoG was sent to Prime Minister in November 2014 and they were still waiting for his final approval. Under the NACTA Act, PM is the chairman of its BoG having powers to summon its meeting.

Under the Act, it is mandatory that BoG should meet once, quarterly or more if required while its Executive Committee shall meet whenever required.

Ghani further said that the prime responsibility of the organization was to monitor the progress on 20 points of National Action Plan (NAP) and in this regard a monthly meeting was being held with the security agencies of all four provinces working on NAP.

He said that NACTA was also working on capacity building of provincial police to counter religious prosecution and formulation of Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) Policy. Joint Intelligence Directorate (JID) has been established in NACTA for the purpose of intelligence gathering and its timely dissemination. Special attention is being given to the terrorist financing and a Counter Terrorism Financing Unit (CTFU) has established to identify and eliminate financial sources of terrorist outfits, he added.

He also said that competent officers would not join the authority until government offered them adequate monetary packages and incentives. “We have been sending a summary to Prime Minister to increase the salaries of NACTA officers to ensure the efficiency of the staff and encourage them,” he said. “Moreover, some of the officers, who are working in provinces, want to come in the NACTA but their notifications are not being issued,” he said.

The chair placed emphasis on the financial aspect of terrorism and asked NACTA chief to give special attention to the financial sources of terrorists. Special unit of NACTA should be set up in all CTD in the country, he said.

He directed that NACTA might take into consideration the matter of Panama leaks and look whether the money placed abroad was not used against the country’s national security. Malik’s name has also surfaced in the Panama Leaks.

He also circulated working papers with detailed insight on existing laws that deal with taxation of overseas property. He directed that relevant officials be called to answer the question posed by the committee regarding overseas properties and its taxation so that a comprehensive law can be drafted to deal with matters like Panama leaks.

The committee also strongly condemned the murder of former Special Assistant to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Minorities Affairs Sardar Sooran Singh and false claim by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for his murder. The meeting got briefing about the case. The chair remarked that Taliban could claim responsibility of any incident for just Rs 50,000.