Monday September 27, 2021

Zainab Alert Agency set up, federal human rights ministry informs SHC

April 15, 2021

The ministry of human rights has established the Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Agency (ZARRA) as provided under the Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Act, a federal law officer told the Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday.

Filing a notification on a petition seeking a direction to the federal government to establish the agency and implement the law to deal with child rape and kidnapping cases, the federal law officer submitted that in pursuance of a cabinet decision, the federal ministry of human rights had established ZARRA under the Act. He added that the secretariat of the agency had been set up in the ministry of human rights in Islamabad. A division bench of the SHC headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar took the notification on record and adjourned the hearing.

The ministry of human rights officer had earlier informed the court that it was preparing standard operating procedures for smooth implementation of the Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Act. He submitted that as per the statutory requirement, rules could only be framed once ZARRA was established and notified.

He had submitted that the post of the ZARRA director general (DG) had been advertised and candidates shortlisted. The high court was informed that a summary had been prepared and would be moved to the prime minister as soon as the federal cabinet approved and notified the establishment of ZARRA. The officer had maintained that service rules for the posts of ZARRA has been framed and notified.

The ministry had also informed the SHC that a PC-I had been prepared for upgrading existing helpline 1099 project of the human rights ministry which would work under the ZARRA DG. He had also mentioned that the Zainab alert app had been linked with the prime minister’s delivery unit.

The SHC was informed that so far 240 cases had been registered on the Zainab app and 165 cases had been resolved. The officer said that the dashboard was accessible by the DPOs, RPOs and IG across the country and there were 170 dashboards being monitored across the country, three of which were in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, eight in Balochistan, five in Islamabad, 59 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 63 in Punjab and 32 in Sindh.

The ministry of human rights had maintained that it was committed to protecting the rights of the citizens and was continuously working towards achieving that goal through several programmes and initiatives.