Training Rollout of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police on Evidence Collection, Preservation, and Analysis, Peshawar

19 October 2019, Peshawar. The Pakistan's Action to Counter Terrorism (PACT) Project under UNODC in collaboration with the European Union (EU) has initiated a Training Rollout on the module of Evidence Collection, Preservation, & Analysis under the Terrorism Investigation Course. This is the third of twelve modules designed for the police officers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The purpose of these training rollouts is to build upon the existing capacities of the province's police force, and this exercise was held in Peshawar on 14 to 18 October 2019. Altogether 30 police officers are being trained under this programme to enable current practices being brought to par with current requirements. 

The first day of this training rollout initiated with a brief 'reflection on learnings session', so that any queries could be clarified prior to proceeding with the day's agenda. Mr Sikandar Sahibzada's was the first presentation on 'The Concept of Evidence; Oral and Documentary Evidence' in which he briefed the participants on basic definitions, and the applicability of various terms in the practical field. The stage was next taken over by Mr Allama Iqbal who presented on 'The Role of Prosecutors and Immediate Legal Advice'. He deliberated on the tasks and duties of prosecutors, and their role in extending advice in the hour of need during terrorism investigations. The third presentation of the day was led by Mr Bakht Munir, in which he highlighted 'The Impact of Lack of Coordination' and its implications in the short as well as long term. The day was concluded with a quiz and discussion session to assess the knowledge gained by the participants.

On the second day Mr Sahibzada presented a case study on 'Tanveer Ahmed versus the State (2011PCrLJ 677KHC)', in which he discussed a real-life example for participants to comprehend the kinds of cases which the police comes across in daily routine. Later, Mr Nawab Khan spoke on 'Direct and Indirect Evidence, Primary and Secondary Evidence'. He further elaborated on the differences between the four kinds of evidence, and their significance in terrorism investigations. Afterwards, Mr Sahibzada again took over the platform and presented on 'The Legal Framework of Evidence' in which he illuminated the significance of evidence from the law's perspective. The day culminated with a group discussion which remained very productive as the participants shared with each other their knowledge and experiences in the field.

The third day commenced with a presentation on 'Circumstantial Evidence, Principles of Circumstantial Evidence, and Relevance of Circumstantial Evidence in Terrorism Cases' led by Mr Mir Qasim. He gave a thorough and a detailed lecture on circumstantial evidence and its components, along with the significance of its relevance in terrorism-related incidents. Following this, Mr Sahibzada presented another case study on 'Inferences of Guilt from Circumstances - Case Study of Shah Jahan vs. State, Forensics, and Opinions of Experts'. This was another real-life example from Pakistan, which further assisted in imparting practical knowledge to the participants. The last presentation of the day, in the shape of an additional case study, was by Mr Iqbal on '2004 YLR 3076 and Categories of Circumstantial Evidence Applicable to Cases of Terrorism', after which a syndicate group activity and a quiz were held under the supervision of Ms Rizwana.

On the penultimate day of the training rollout, Mr Munir delivered the first session on 'Collection and Preservation of Documents and Digital Evidence', in which he emphasized the significance of documents and their collection methodology, along with the preservation techniques required. He also shed light on the growing importance of digital evidence, and its scope in terrorism investigation in current times. The second presentation was by Dr M Tahir in which he presented a case study, along with a lecture on 'Collection and Preservation of DNA, Blood, other Body Parts, and Bodily Fluids': physical evidence, especially human, was deliberated under this topic. Subsequently Mr Akhtar Naseer presented on 'The Collection and Preservation of Explosives' and 'Collection and Preservation of Fingerprints and Ballistics'. He dwelt on the importance of preservation of all types of evidence material while specifically emphasizing explosives, ballistics, and fingerprints as leading to pertinent clues in resolving terrorism related cases.

The last day of the exercise was a reinforcement session planned to reflect on the learnings and information gained, with a mentoring session for the participants to further discuss their concerns, with the opportunity to further clarify their questions. The participants declared this training rollout session effective in uplifting their existing knowledge and information; and also stated that the methodology adopted was extremely useful: the presenters sharing practical case studies and thus conveying real-life examples from the field.