International Development Partners visit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to strengthen support for rule of law
April 24, 2014: A joint mission of international development partners visited Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province today. The mission to Swat, Buner and Peshawar provided development partners with an opportunity to engage with the communities, senior government officials and judicial staff to better understand the challenges for rule of law and to explore further opportunities for promoting peace and justice in the province. This is aligned with KP Government’s Strategic Partnership Development Framework which spells out joint commitments between the Government and international partners in accordance with the province’s development strategy. Rule of law is one of the priority components of the frame work.
Development partners visited a model police station established by the Department for International Development (DFID) in Peshawar and inaugurated the refurbished civil courts in district Buner, supported by UNDP. They also visited the KP Judicial Academy and interacted with the female legal practitioners at the legal aid clinics.
In partnership with the KP Government, the Netherlands and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UNDP is strengthening rule of law through community and institutional level interventions. The Rule of Law Support Project in KP was initiated in seven districts of the Malakand region, and has been expanded to three districts in southern KP and one district in the Hazara Division. The development partners visited the area and interacted with the communities in Swat, Buner and Peshawar.
In addition to improving facilities and working conditions of the judiciary, the project promotes alternate dispute resolution mechanisms and supports legal aid and citizens’ access to justice. The project has brought legal services to marginalised and vulnerable populations through legal aid clinics and bar associations. These clinics equipped vulnerable populations with information on their basic rights and access to the justice system. Additionally, regular training programmes provided through the KP Judicial Academy, established with UNDP support, strengthen the province’s judicial system. The Academy has trained 236 Judges, 150 court staff, 203 police officials, and 72 prosecution officers to help them provide better services to their communities.
The project introduced community policing in Malakand district to increase citizen’s confidence in the police and is establishing a forensic science laboratory at Swat. The project also launched the first mobile court in Pakistan to bring justice to remote areas, and ensured that female lawyers enter mainstream legal practice by providing them with scholarships that motivate them to continue their practice of law after graduation.
“These joint missions provide for a great opportunity to observe progress in strengthening rule of law which is a condition for sustainable development and to continue improving coordination and joint approach,” said Marc-André Franche, Country Director UNDP Pakistan.
For further information, please contact Fatimah Inayet, Communications Analyst, UNDP Pakistan.