Islamabad, Pakistan: Pakistan’s region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan have a high crime rates and the rule of law is not followed properly. To tackle the situation, the European Union and its partners have launched a programme aiming to enhance the criminal justice system in Pakistan.
The Frontier Post reported that anchored in the vision that an enhanced and reformed justice sector is the only sustainable solution for addressing critical and systematic weaknesses in justice delivery, the programme spans from 2021 till 2025, and is financed with 20 million euros.
Jointly implemented by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the programme aims to support reform processes to ensure the delivery of people-centred justice, enhance access to justice for all, particularly women and less privileged/marginalized groups; and improve service delivery of the security sector in line with constitutional safeguards and international standards.
The project will provide technical assistance to legal reforms and the Rule of Law roadmaps in KP and Balochistan. Special focus will be set on access to justice through free legal aid and alternative dispute resolution, as well as legal literacy for citizens. On the institutional side, the project will assist in upgrading facilities and processes to enhance citizen friendly service delivery.
The launch event was held with many participants and key stakeholders virtually.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed graced the occasion as Chief Guest, along with Androulla Kaminara, EU Ambassador to Pakistan and representatives of the three UN Agencies.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed thanked the EU and UN agencies for their support and expressed his confidence in the programme. “I am certain that together, we will be able to enhance access to justice for all, particularly women, less privileged and the marginalized groups and improve service delivery. The Government of Pakistan will extend all its support to the programme, enabling it to achieve its goal.”
EU Ambassador to Pakistan Androulla Kaminara thanked the UN agencies, provincial and federal government, and other important stakeholders for their support in strengthening the Rule of Law in Pakistan.
UN Women Pakistan Country Representative Sharmeela Rassool stated that, “In Pakistan, women constitute of almost 50 per cent of the entire population. Yet they are not represented proportionately in receiving or delivering of basic and critical services including effective service delivery in the justice sector. UN Women is committed to deepening our efforts to ensure inclusion of women in formal justice delivery mechanisms in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to ensure their rights are safeguarded for promotion of a fair, efficient, gender-responsive and inclusive society.”
Advisor to Chief Minister on Information, Government of Balochistan, Liaquat Ali Shahwani, Finance Minister, Government of KP, Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra were also present during the virtual event.