CM approves Sindh Rule of law Roadmap to introduce reforms in CJS
KARACHI:Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah approving ‘Sindh Rule of Law Roadmap’ which is basically a reformative work in Criminal Justice System worked out in collaboration with international agencies has directed Home department to establish its implementation unit and place in the next cabinet meeting for approval discussion and approval.
The document was presented in a meeting held under the chairmanship of the chief minister and was attended by two delegations, Mission from United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and British Commission. The UNODC delegation include Ms Jouhaida, retired IG Police Mr Niaz Siddiki, Syed Waaqas Shah, Ghulam Ali, and BHC delegates were Ms Susan Loughhead, Mr Eram Zehra. The chief minister was assisted by Advocate General Salman talibuddin, IG Police Dr Kaleem Imam, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid jamal Abro, Home Secretary Kazi kabir and others.
The Rule of Law Road Map is a vision document that describes how specific challenges related to justice delivery system in Sindh need to be addressed in a collaborative fashion in the next five years. All the stakeholders, including the home department and criminal justice institutions of the province, have identified the priority areas of reforms.
The chief minister said that the road map was designed to expedite system-wide implementation efforts aimed at increasing public confidence and trust in Rule of law, as well as to ensure that the institutions of Criminal Justice System (CJS) in Sindh were strengthened to carry out their statutory tasks within the framework of their respective responsibilities and in mutual cooperation with each other.
Mr Shah said that the whole idea was to meet citizens’ expectations through evidence-based policy actions across the Rule of law sector. The road map was developed by a team of technical experts who carried out extensive research and analysis under the departmental leadership of Home.
Provincial Home Secretary Kazi Kabir said as an inclusive framework, the roadmap includes detailed institutional assessment and strategic prioritization based on discussion and consultation with police, prosecution, prisons, probation and Reclamation, Law, as well as the Sindh High Court.
During the discussion on Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that impetus for Rule of Law reforms came from the constitution, National Action Plan, priorities of Sindh government, Pakistan’s international obligations, national Judicial Policy, National Internal Security Policy, NACTA recommendations and the Sustainable Development Goals.
He added that given the evolving consensus on the need for system approach towards comprehensive rule of law reforms, it was but obvious that none of the national imperatives of governance, development or security were achievable in absence of a well-functioning criminal justice and rule of law in Sindh.
Mr Shah said that the policy instruments clearly link rule of law and efficacy of the criminal justice system firstly to peace, security and stability and secondly to economic growth, prosperity and sustainability and thirdly to the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals.
Former IG Police Niaz Siddiiki said that the roadmap approach was a departure from traditional reforms interventions as it was a product, per se, of intensive engagement, deliberations, persuasion and consensus amongst all the criminal justice institutions.
Focus Areas and Reforms: The road maps calls for monetarization of standards, procedures and rules in line with the requirements of changing times. Improved accountability, transparency an oversight structures; cross institutional collaboration to pursue common policy goals, police, laws, plans and programs to facilitate citizens’ access to justice; data policy analysis and performance management; technology for improved justice delivery system and demand drive reforms through enhanced citizens’ access to justice, particularly that of the most vulnerable sections of society such as children, women, minorities, people with disability etc.
The chief minister said that when the Sindh Rule of Law Roadmap was being framed the Sindh government had embarked upon introducing reforms. Mentioning the reform he said his government has already approved and turning Sindh Prisons into Sindh Correction House, approved Police Order 2002, has appointed Prosecution and Parole officers, enhanced 40 percent budget of the police, enhanced cost of Investigation and various others.
The chief minister directed Home Secretary to Establish ‘Sindh Rule of Law Roadmap’ Implementation Unit in Home Department and also urged him provide the copies of the roadmap to all the cabinet members os that it could be discussed and approved in the next cabinet meting.