Participants of a consultative workshop called for implementation of the laws, legislative oversight and participatory role of the civil society to strengthen institutions and ensure justice and accountability for all.
The consultation on ‘sustainable development goals: peace, justice and strong institutions’, was organised on Thursday by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat). KP Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Deputy Speaker Dr Mehr Taj Roghani presided over the two sessions attended by members of the civil society.
The participants discussed the targets related to promotion of rule of law and equal justice, development of accountable and transparent institutions, participatory and representative decision-making and provision of legal identity for all including birth registration by 2030.
Public access to information and protection of freedoms in accordance with national legislation and international agreements and enforcement of non-discriminatory law and policies for sustainable development were also discussed.
Speakers discuss targets related to promotion of rule of law
ANP lawmaker Jaffar Shah called for the implementation of Article 25(A) regarding the provision of free education to children.
Former inspector general of police Shoaib Suddle said that the governments needed to see if they had the wherewithal to implement some of the measures. He said that it was unfortunate that sometimes legislation was made without taking into account its financial implications.
Mr Shah was also concerned about the timing of the national census in March when, he said, almost 75 per cent of the population in the upper reaches of Malakand migrated to the plains. He underlined the need for strengthening the role of standing committees by granting them the oversight powers. Speaker Asad Qaiser endorsed his view.
Social activist, Mariam Bibi, spoke on the need for making the rules of business compatible with legislation, the absence of which, she noted, made the laws ineffective. She also called for judicious distribution of resources to cater to the needs of women.
Referring to a point raised by a social activist, Dr Roghani recalled working on the domestic violence legislation and consulting a prominent religious scholar and fellow legislator, Mufti Janan from JU- F for over a year to ensure no provision was in conflict with the provisions of Islam. The proposed law, she said, was vetted by the KP Law Department before it was sent to the Council of Islamic Ideology. The CII, she said, had now returned it with a few observations.
She said that the proposed legislation would be tabled before the provincial assembly after incorporating the amendments suggested by CII.
A participant raised the issue of amendments required to be made to the Right to Information Act, 2013 to include besides other things the right of appeal against the decision of the commission.
Citation: Bureau Report. Call for implementation of laws to strengthen institutions. Dawn, January 6, 2017.