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January 29, 2020

‘Efforts on to locally develop DNA, forensic test kits’

Lahore

January 29, 2020

LAHORE: The National Forensic Science Commission (NFSC) chairman and former Sindh police chief, Dr Shoaib Suddle, has said that efforts are being made to develop scientifically valid and reliable DNA and forensic test kits locally within a year.

He was chairing the second meeting of the commission held at University of Health Sciences (UHS) here on Tuesday.

Dr Shoaib said it was estimated that more than 11,000 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”, he said, adding that foreign trained Pakistani forensic researchers would be engaged in the development 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 emphasised the need for collecting valid data regarding use of forensic kits by various agencies in the country.

NFSC Secretary and UHS Forensic Sciences Department head Dr Allah Rakha said use of forensic sciences in criminal cases had grown steadily with the advancement in investigation procedures such as crime scene evidence collection, fingerprinting, DNA analysis, toxicology, etc. He presented a four-stage work plan for development of test kits within a period of one year.