LAHORE               -             The National Forensic Science Commission’s (NFSC) chairman and former Sindh police chief, Dr Shoaib Suddle has said that scientifically valid and reliable DNA and forensic test kits would be developed locally within a year.

Chairing second meeting of the commission at the University of Health Sciences (UHS) on Tuesday, he said that an estimated 11,000 plus forensic kits were imported every year for DNA-analysis-related casework and research purposes, thus costing millions of dollars to public exchequer.

“There is an urgent need for less expensive indigenously developed forensic kits”, Dr Shoaib said adding that foreign-trained Pakistani forensic researchers would be engaged for the project. He said that the commission would identify local labs with minimum requirements for validation of test kits besides inviting potential investors and facilities for bulk production and marketing.

Dr Shoaib also emphasized the need of collecting valid data regarding use of forensic kits by various agencies in the country. NFSC secretary and UHS forensic sciences department’s head Dr Allah Rakha said that the use of forensic sciences in criminal cases had grown steadily with the advancement in investigation procedures such as crime scene evidence collection, finger printing, DNA analysis and toxicology.

He presented the four-stage work plan for development of test kits within a period of one year.

PCSIR member Dr Yasir Saleem, NADRA general manager Faisal Ayub, Punjab University CEMB assistant professor Dr Muhammad Shafique, PU CAMB assistant professor Dr Safdar Hussain, UHS forensic sciences department faculty members Dr Rahat, Shahid Nazir and Farhan Khan attended the meeting.