I Imran Khan says provision of easy, affordable, immediate justice to masses is govt’s foremost priority I Directs to formulate roadmap for reforms in criminal justice system, change in `Thana Culture’ and jail reforms

ISLAMABAD             -          Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday said the representation of society’s weaker and helpless segments and ensuring the provision of justice to them was the foremost priority of the present government.

“The masses have lost their confidence to the large extent in the current justice system. For the betterment in justice system, the people have expectations from the present government,” he said.

The prime minister expressed these views while presiding over a meeting held here to review legal reforms for the provision of easy and immediate justice to the people. The meeting was attended by Minister for Law Barrister Farogh Naseem, Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Advisor on Parliamentary Affairs Dr. Zaheer-ud-Din Babar Awan, Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan, and Parliamentary Secretary for Law Malaika Ali Bukhari and senior officers.

The prime minister said removing flaws in the current justice system and ensuring easy, affordable and immediate access to justice for the people was the basic element of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) manifesto.

Minister for Law Barrister Farogh Naseem briefed the prime minister in detail about the important reforms measures taken by the present government in the justice system like early completion of civil cases, transfer of inheritance, ensuring rights of women in inherited properties, provision of legal assistance from the state to the weaker and poorer segments, and reforms in the criminal justice system.

The prime minister was told that as a result of reforms in civil procedures, timelines had been set for the completion of cases pending for years.

He was further told that the reforms process in relevant laws and the use of technology would not only bring in improvement in the system but would also

enable the people in getting easy and immediate justice.

During the meeting, a decision was taken for the establishment of a forensic laboratory in the Federal Capital.

The prime minister directed to also formulate a roadmap for reforms in the criminal justice system, change in `Thana Culture’, registration of cases, investigation and jail reforms so that the process of implementation of reforms could be ensured as early as possible.

He also constituted a committee consisting of Minister for Law Barrister Farogh Naseem, Advisor on Parliamentary Affairs Dr. Babar Awan and Attorney General Khalid Javed Khan, and directed it to formulate a timeline-based roadmap to further the legal reforms process as per the people’s expectations, in the light of which more decisions would be taken next week.

PM forms committee to study plight of women prisoners

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday constituted a committee to study and investigate the plight of women in prisons.

“The Committee has been constituted, taking into account the plight of the female prisoners, whether convicted or awaiting trial, in overall context of gender biasness, prevalent in the society at large and issues associated therewith,” the PM Office said. 

The step has been taken in view of the need to put in place institutional arrangements to address the issue in a comprehensive manner. The committee comprises Federal Minister of Human Rights Dr Shireen

Mazari (Chairperson), Secretary Ministry of Human Rights (Secretary), Secretary Ministry of Interior, Home Secretaries of four provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan,  Inspector General Prisons (provinces and GB), founder and executive director of Justice Project Pakistan Sarah Belal and lawyer Haya Zahid.

The Chairperson may co-opt any person as member of the Committee. The Committee will assess, if Prison Rules, Code of Criminal Procedure-1898 and international best practices, are being adhered to with respect to women prisoners, especially their protection, rights, health, security and well-being.

It will ensure availability of gender-specific services for women prisoners addressing their physical, psychological, emotional, and sociological needs. It will review Prison Rules and other relevant laws with a view to suggest gender specific changes in order to bring improvements for women inmates.

The Committee will also review the overall governance, legal aid and management systems/processes in prison administration, especially with regard to women prisoners and to suggest improvements. It will review individual cases of Human Rights violations and victimization of women inmates and suggest measures for institutional accountability.

Situation of children, accompanying women in jails and work to help mainstream such children, especially with regard to their education and social integration, will also be assessed.

The Committee will suggest comprehensive and workable system of governance of prisons in Pakistan with a view to ameliorating the plight of women in prison. It will review post-release programmes to ensure that women prisoners are able to adjust in society after they leave the prison. The Committee shall submit its report in the matter for further orders of the Prime Minister within a period of four (04) months.

PM reviews state of economy; calls for continuing with process of institutional reforms

Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday emphasised upon the need of continuing with the process of institutional reforms and ensuring financial discipline so as to consolidate the process of stabilizing economy while simultaneously providing possible relief to the people. He was chairing a meeting here to review the state of country’s economy.

The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, Adviser on Commerce Abdur Razzaq Dawood, Adviser on Institutional Reform Dr Ishrat Hussain and senior officials. Minister for Industries and Production Muhammad Hammad Azhar also attended the meeting through video link.

During the meeting preliminary discussion on the upcoming budget also took place with special focus on the need to deal with the emergent situation keeping in view government’s core priorities and moving the wheels of economy. 

Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh presented an overview of the economy and highlighted stabilization and improvement witnessed during first nine months of the current financial year in macroeconomic indicators.

He said that during this period, significant improvement was made in reducing trade and fiscal deficit, current account deficit, increasing foreign direct investments, enhanced revenue collection, improved debt management and ensuring financial discipline. 

He also gave a detailed briefing on the impact of coronavirus pandemic and the efforts made by the government to provide relief to the people as well as industry and businesses including unprecedented incentive package offered to the construction sector.