Enabling gender-responsive delivery of justice through police and prosecution cooperation in Sindh

Islamabad, 20 May 2023 - With funding from the US Embassy's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), the Government of Sindh is working to deliver progressive and gender-responsive rule of law reforms aimed at protecting the rights of the province's marginalized and vulnerable citizens, including transgender community, which has limited choices and lacks access to fair and free legal services. This particular intervention of the INL-funded project is implemented in Sindh with the technical support of the UNODC.

The realization of the above-mentioned reforms necessitates efficient coordination between the police and the prosecution for prompt, unbiased, and gender-sensitive investigations, particularly those involving disadvantaged and underprivileged segments of society. To this end, the INL has graciously funded a five day skill-based training programme on police and prosecution coordination as part of the rule of law reforms in Sindh. The training was organized by the UNODC from 15 to 19 May 2023 in Karachi, in collaboration with the Government of Sindh. The primary purpose of the training was to strengthen coordination between police and prosecutors in order to eliminate existing obstacles and gaps in conducting objective and efficient investigations.

The training brought together a cross-section of 19 participants, representing police and public prosecutors from Sindh at the exclusive venue of the Sindh Judicial Academy in Karachi. The content of the specialized training is inspired from the UNODC’s widely acclaimed, tried and tested modules on police and prosecution cooperation in Pakistan. The training is further adapted and contextualized to respond to the specific reform areas envisioned as part of the INL-funded project.

The participants were facilitated to exchange experiential learning and contextualize lessons from the field to identify challenges and propose optimal solutions for enhancing meaningful cooperation and communication between police and prosecution. The critical stages of investigation such as FIR, challan preparation, and processes leading to the fair delivery of trials were thoroughly scrutinized to ensure effective collaborative synergies between investigation officers and public prosecutors in Sindh.

The training was also a significant step forward to address the rising menace of street crimes and deteriorating law and order situation in Sindh. The discussion brought to light localized issues, developing mutual understanding between police and prosecution on how to address them through regular cooperation, consultation, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and institutionalized mechanism to ensure effective delivery of rule of law at all levels.

The Police-Prosecution Training in Karachi was funded by the US Embassy's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) as part of Pakistan's Terrorism Prevention Programme (PTP2) with reference to Sindh and Balochistan.