15th Pakistan Prosecution Forum stresses a proactive role of prosecution services in Pakistan

1 February 2023, Islamabad - The importance of prosecution services in fair and impartial investigations is globally acknowledged as a cornerstone for upholding justice for the people. In Pakistan, Provincial Prosecution Departments were established as one of the key institutions within the delivery chain of the Criminal Justice System. However, despite years of efforts, the role of a public prosecutor in informing criminal investigations has been narrowly understood in Pakistan compared to global standards. To this end, Pakistan Prosecution Forum (PPF) plays a dynamic role in bringing provincial prosecution departments on one platform to dialogue and build consensus on the role of prosecution services as well as exchange lessons, knowledge, and good practices for mutual learning. PPF has been a catalyst for informing policy debate to enhance the efficient delivery of prosecution services across Pakistan. 

Backed by this mandate, the 15th meeting of the Pakistan Prosecution Forum was held on 1 February 2023, chaired by the KP Prosecution Department with the administrative support of UNODC and generous funding from the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Section (INL) of the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan. The Forum brought together senior ranks

 from the prosecution department, including Prosecutor Generals and Director General, representing Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Speaking at the Forum, the Special Secretary of Home, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mr. Akbar Ali Khan, provided an overview of the key objectives of the 15th PPF, followed by inputs from the key speakers and moderated discussions of the provincial prosecution chapters.

The 15th PPF revolved around charting a course towards establishing and harmonizing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in the efficient delivery of prosecution services across all provinces of Pakistan. It was mutually agreed that a state-of-the-art Prosecutor's Case Management & Monitoring System (CMMS) & Case File Management System (CFMS) would help efficiently deliver prosecution services. The provincial prosecution departments shared individual progress and initiatives in developing KPIs for the CMMS. It was also agreed that an effective CMMS is integral to expediting the delivery of cases and enhancing the efficiency of the Criminal Justice System.

Ms. Jouhaida Hanano, Criminal Justice Advisor, UNODC, appreciated the unanimous efforts of the provincial prosecution departments to make the PPF an effective collaborative platform. She also stressed the need for institutionalizing police-prosecution coordination to realize the gate-keeping role of prosecution at each stage in the chain of criminal justice chain from investigation to the effective delivery of trial.

The PPF concluded with mutual agreements on harmonizing the public prosecution system's overall monitoring framework to ensure public prosecutors' transparency and accountability. The system needs a seamless architecture enabled by technology to inform fair and impartial trials.

It was finally agreed that an effective CMMS informed by the relevant KPIs will inevitably improve the efficiency of the prosecution system, enabling public prosecutors to exercise their powers fairly and with due diligence to deliver and uphold justice for the public's welfare.