Media’s role vital for rule of law reforms: PILDAT experts
Karachi: The media’s role is vital for bringing about rule of law reforms.
This observation was made by experts of the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) at a dialogue with media persons on rule of law reforms on Friday.
Criminal justice and legal experts said immediate reforms were needed in Pakistan, especially in the Sindh province, to improve the rule of law, for which the media could “play a very important role”, said a PILDAT statement.
It said that during the dialogue organised by PILDAT, the organisation’s Rule of Law Committee of Experts highlighted key issues and proposed reforms to strengthen rule of law and access to justice in Pakistan. Members of the Sindh Assembly joined the discussion.
Participants agreed that lack of uniform implementation of rule of law had become an alarming issue for Pakistan. All major issues such as rise in terrorism, corruption, sluggish economic growth, the flight of talent and capital, and a dysfunctional justice system were “actually manifestations of a weak rule of law”.
The PILDAT experts also shared with the media a reform agenda for rule of law. The agenda has been prepared through countrywide consultations held by PILDAT since August 2015 with public representatives, subject experts, legal practitioners and journalists to discuss specific ways and means for strengthening police prosecution services and the free legal aid system in Pakistan.
Participants agreed that police prosecution liaison at police station level was necessary for creating an effective justice system. They called on the government to increase funding for the police and their investigation branch for effective prosecution.
A general consensus emerged that the legal aid system needed a major overhaul for which a free legal aid authority should be established.
Participants lauded PILDAT’s efforts for building their awareness about rule of law and facilitating them with the proposed reform process.
The committee experts who spoke at the briefing included Dr
Shoaib Suddle, former inspector general of police, Suhail Shahzad, dean faculty of law and administrative sciences, Hazara University, and Muhammad Ali Nekokara, former SSP.
PILDAT is an independent, non-partisan and not-for-profit indigenous think tank focused on political and public policy research and legislative strengthening. As an indigenous institution, its mission is to strengthen democracy and democratic institutions in Pakistan.
PILDAT is a premier research organisation of Pakistan focusing on democracy, governance and public policy. Founded in 2001, the organisation focuses on producing objective, research-based analyses on policies especially under review by the parliament and the executive.