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PESHAWAR: Speakers at the first-ever national conference on criminology said here on Wednesday that malicious prosecutions resulting in detentions without conviction must be penalised by the legislature that resulted in overcrowded prisons and stigma for detainees.

The three-day conference entitled ‘Institutionalising Criminology in Pakistan” has been organised by department of criminology, University of Peshawar.

According to a statement, total 68 research papers would be presented in different sessions of the conference. The conference is sponsored under the general funding of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for establishment of the country’s first ever Institute of Criminology and Forensic Studies at UoP at a cost of Rs180 million. Experts and academicians from across the country are attending the conference.

Inaugurating the conference, criminology department chairman Dr Basharat Hussain said that the event was aimed at reforming and shedding away the old colonial practices of criminal justice system in the country and to be better ward off the challenges emanating from the weakening law and order situation from so-called war on terror and fragile system of law and order.

First-ever national conference on criminology begins at UoP

He said that the department would be able to provide quality education to relatively that new discipline with eyeing on the job market of probation, prosecution, prisons and forensics experts.

Fasihud Din, senior police officer and president of Pakistan Society of Criminology, deplored that few years ago criminology was not in the module and syllabus of police training.

He lauded the efforts of department of social work and sociology, which started work on the academic front for the cause of criminology through rigorous research contribution in national and international journals.

Mr Fasihud Din, who had served as commandant of Police Training Centre Hangu, said that 21 police officers did not know the process of probation in their training that showed lack of basic knowledge in academia.

In her key note address, Dr Sarah Safdar paid rich tributes to founder of social work department late Karam Elahi for introducing that subject to the Pakistani academics in the mid 1980s. She hoped that the conference would do justice to the subject of crime, criminology and criminal justice system.

Panelists in their presentations presented their research papers.

Attia Madni and Naureen Akhter from International Islamic University, Islamabad suggested that malicious prosecutions resulting in detentions without conviction must be penalised by the legislature that resulted in overcrowded prisons and stigma for detainees.

Maria Abbasi, faculty member of Bahauddin Zakaria University, explored harassment situation faced by educated women in the country through her study. She pointed out that most cases reported to Federal Investigation Agency went unpunished.

She said that mostly cyber harassers were addicted to the crime and habitual in their tendency to bully, stalk, outing and mobbing.

Published in Dawn, December 27th, 2018