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KOHAT/MINGORA: Speakers at separate workshops on the role of dispute resolution councils (DRCs) have said that their purpose is to raise legal awareness and help the society, especially women, in getting inheritance rights in property.

The workshops were organised in Kohat and Mingora by the Strengthening Rule of Law Project (SRLP) of UNDP in collaboration with the Sarhad Rural Support Programme and government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for training the district level stakeholders of DRCs on Thursday.

In Kohat, around 23 members attended the workshop, including Faiq Ali Shah, Zaibun Nisa, Qasim Ali Shah, Ghayasuddin advocate and others.

SRSP representative Mr Wajid said that DRCs were established in KP to provide alternative dispute resolution services to the local population. The government provided legal cover to DRCs in 2015 by amending the Police Order 2002.

Workshops held in Kohat, Mingora

Other speakers said that SRLP was also providing capacity support to police prosecutors and supporting citizens’ access to justice.

In Mingora, elders of different communities on Thursday claimed that DRCs resolved public disputes faster than the regular courts in Swat. Tehsil nazim Ikram Khan, members of DRCs, lawyers, police officials and women rights activists also participated in the workshop.

SRLP’s Iqbal Sarwar said that the project was initiated to raise awareness among public of their rights and laws. “An individual or group having problems writes an application to the DPO who marks it to the related DRC in the police station which in a short time reconciles the dispute,” he explained.

Maulana Siddique Ahmad said that Islam and Sharia stressed on communities to resolve their disputes through reconciliation. “Once people come to the DRC they motivate others too as here they find speedy and free-of-cost resolution of disputes,” said Inamur Rehman, a member of Mingora DRC.

Another member, Tabassum Adnan, demanded of the KP government to recruit women in officer ranks of police who could easily solve women’s problems.

Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2016