QUETTA: Balochistan Home Secretary Haider Ali Shikoh has underscored the importance of strengthening the criminal justice system in the province.

He said this while chairing a planning workshop titled ‘Operationalising the Rule of Law Roadmap in Balochistan’.

He urged the participants to propose sustainable solutions so that archaic laws, outdated standards and institutional shortcomings could be add­ressed on a permanent basis.

He emphasised the need for modernising state institutions to provide expeditious justice and services to citizens.

The workshop was convened by the home department in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to assist stakeholders in developing implementation strategies so that priority issues concerning key components of the criminal justice system could be addressed.

The UNODC is supporting the Balochistan government through its partnership with the home department under the ‘Rule of Law Programme’.

The key objective of the programme is to work across the rule of law sector for establishment and operationalisation of core implementation, management, and monitoring mechanisms and to put in place support structures so that reform momentum could be systematically sustained in the province.

The event was planned and organised as part of these joint efforts to fully operationalise the rule of law roadmap of Balochistan.

Driven by the delivery unit based in the home department, the roadmap process is technically guided by ‘technical working groups’ (TWGs) established in each department of the criminal justice system. These TWGs constituted the main audience of this workshop, which provided a collaborative platform to the participants from home, police, Levies, prosecution, prisons, reclama­tion and probation departments for discussion and deliberation.

The purpose of holding the workshop was to assist the participants in developing results-oriented, measurable, and time-bound work plans for their respective departments so that their institutional priorities as identified in the rule of law roadmap for Balochistan could be addressed in a structured manner.

The former inspector general of Balochistan police, Tariq Masood Khosa, also spoke on the occasion. Referr­ing to lack of institutional capacity for ensuring law and order, he urged the participants to consider chalking out effective responses regarding building of state capacities to deal with hostile forces, including miscreants persisting in taking advantage of the ungoverned space in the province.

Filling this space was crucial and it could be possible only through implementation of the rule of law reforms, he said.

He underlined the need for sustained technical support to be given to all stakeholders of the criminal justice sector.

Published in Dawn, June 4th, 2019