Enhanced police-prosecution cooperation for efficient delivery of justice to the citizens in Balochistan

23 November 2022, Gawadar - The police and prosecution are key pillars of a fair and efficient criminal justice system, playing an interconnected role to create an effective justice process that delivers services to all citizens. Despite continued reforms in enhancing the investigative capacity of the police, there has been a limited focus on the critical role of the prosecution in providing time-sensitive collaboration and advice to the police during an investigation process.

Funded by the U.S. Embassy’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), UNODC held a seminar on November 23 in Gwadar to increase collaboration between Balochistan’s rule of law authorities and support them in delivering justice and fair treatment to the residents of Balochistan.  The police-prosecution coordination seminar strengthened the coordination between police and prosecution, courts, and correction systems to improve public confidence in the performance of these institutions. This activity is part of a 5-year Programme, (2017-2022), entitled ‘Improving the Rule of Law in Balochistan-Pakistan’, funded by INL and implemented through UNODCin cooperation with the  Government of Balochistan.

The participants of the seminar came from a cross-section of police, law enforcement, and prosecution departments to holistically address the myriad challenges faced by the police and prosecutors during investigations. The INL-funded and UNODC-run seminar focused on how police can  best work with the prosecution department for timely interventions, advice, and support to ensure efficient management of trial proceedings from the time of the creation of the First Information Report (FIR) to the final verdict by the court. Participants reviewed criminal justice processes to identify, understand, and address inherent gaps and systemic challenges. The key objective of the deliberations was to build a list of recommendations and identify a way forward towards ensuring fair and efficient management of investigations through an objective and improved evidence collection process to efficiently deliver justice for the end beneficiary.

The seminar was well-attended by a cross-sectionof key stakeholders from Balochistan Police and Prosecution departments who shared their views and perspectives on the existing investigation processes and challenges between police and prosecution executing effective and timely coordination.

The seminar is a step forward in implementing the recently signed MoU between the Police and Prosecutors for effective cooperation and application of SOPs to harmonize their response and improve the process of justice for the citizens of Balochistan.

The participants echoed the need for enhanced institutionalized mechanisms and processes that ensure effective and timely collaboration between the police and prosecutors to provide Pakistanis with a fair and efficient trial system.