ISLAMABAD A two-day regional conference on gender and policing kicked off here on Tuesday, emphasising on the need for gender responsive policing in South Asia for a gender just society through collective efforts. The inaugural session of regional conference organised by Rozan, an Islamabad based Non-Governmental Organisation, in collaboration with Ministry of Human Rights and Islamabad Police under the title of 21st century and policing in South Asia, Response towards Gender Based Violence: Challenges and Prospects. Civil society representatives, Police officials, students, and Government officials attended the inaugural session in large numbers. Speaking at the occasion as chief guest, Federal Minister for Human Rights Syed Mumtaz Alam Gillani said that Islamabad Police is very well-trained and groomed but police in other provinces is reduced to an instrument in the hands of feudal and tribal chiefs who misuse their power. He said that the public-private partnership is praiseworthy especially the collaboration of police department in such an initiative is really groundbreaking. Furthermore, he maintained that he is looking forward to the deliberations of this conference. He reiterated that the Ministry of Human Rights would make utmost efforts to take forward the recommendations of this conference to relevant ministries and departments of the state. In the keynote address, I A Rehman, Secretary General of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan told the gathering that colonial system of policing that has dominated police practices in most South Asian countries needs to be changed urgently. While Norwegian Ambassador to Pakistan Roberk Kvile, in his address, said that Norway has been supporting the police department and civil society organisations for gender sensitive policing in Pakistan. Managing Director of Rozan Babar Bashir said that the Rozan attitudinal change addressing issues of gender has been now adopted and institutionalised in curricula of police training schools across the country; but that this is just one step in this struggle. Capacity building and training of police is the need of hour and ICTP is taking concrete measures for making the police gender responsive, said Syed Kaleem Imam, Inspector General of Islamabad Capital Territory Police. During the first technical session in South Asia, Kishali Pinto-Jaywardena of Sri Lanka spoke on democracy, gender-based violence, and policing in Sri Lanka. Other speakers of the session were Nayyar Hasnian Hyder (ex-IG police), and Mukhtar Ahmed Ali of CPDI. The last session was on 'Implementation of Legislation and policies on gender based violence and the role of police.