Saturday January 28, 2023

Need for capacity building of rule of law departments stressed

By Our Correspondent
November 27, 2022

Islamabad : United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Pakistan organised a day-long workshop to highlight the needs and issues of rule of law ministries, provincial departments, and law enforcing agencies (LEAs) working in the country.

Inspector General of National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP), Khalid Mahmood was the chief guest at the event. The event was attended by senior officials and focal persons of KP Police, Punjab Police, Frontier Constabulary, ICT Police Islamabad, National Highway & Motorway Police, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), National Police Academy (NPA) Islamabad, National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), Pakistan, Pakistan Railway Police, Balochistan Police, Sindh Police, Azad Jammu, and Kashmir Police, and Gilgit-Baltistan Police.

The workshop was led by Sajjad Afzal Afridi, IG Police (Rtd), who is currently working as a Rule of Law Specialist with the UNOPS. The participants and focal persons of over 15 police departments discussed the need for better coordination, and sharing of best practices amongst all the rule of law departments to ensure they continue with their daily duties and provide critical services to the people.

Khalid Mehmood, IG NHMP, said “In the aftermath of recent floods in the country it is evident that sustainable and resilient infrastructure is the only way forward. Various Police Departments in the country are in dire need of green infrastructure, be it police stations, offices, or training colleges. I am thankful to UNOPS for providing us with this platform where all the departments have discussed and highlighted important issues like the need to have better coordination amongst ourselves.”

It was also discussed that the participation of women in public sector jobs in Pakistan has been hindered due to several factors, including the lack of a women-friendly work environment, unequal access to professional opportunities, gender disparity in educational and professional development, and cultural social issues. The Pakistan Police force also faces the same issue. Consequently, the Government of Pakistan has set a 10% quota for women in the police force. Despite the government’s efforts to increase female representation, the current percentage of women in the police force remains below 2%. Additionally, most of these women are at the Constable level, with very few at Superintendent positions.

Mr. Shahzad Hassan, Office In-charge UNOPS Pakistan said “UNOPS Pakistan has already worked with the National Highways and Motorway Police and Sindh Police departments. We have built hostels for female police officers and trainees, and are well aware of the needs of LEAs working in the country. We are thankful to our donors and look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship with the law enforcement agencies in Pakistan,” he said.

UNOPS is already working on supporting the Sustainable Development Goals: 3 Good health and well-being, 4 Gender Equality, 6 Clean water and sanitation, 9 Industry Innovation & Infrastructure.