Germany, UK and EU support Pakistan in strengthening the rule of law

Founder Editor Tazeen Akhtar..

Lahore (Editor Desk)The German Ambassador, Ina Lepel, the British High Commissioner, Philip Barton, and the Head of the Delegation of the European Union, Ambassador Jean-François Cautain, together with the Chief Guest MPA Jahangir Khanzada inaugurated a state-of-the-art crime scene training room and two auditoria at the Punjab Forensic Science Agency (PFSA) on 14 December 2015.  

The contributions to the PFSA are part of Germany’s, the United Kingdom’s and the European Union’s efforts to support Pakistan in strengthening the rule of law. Specifically, the cooperation with the PFSA is aimed at enhancing criminal investigation based on lawfully collected and preserved evidence.

The crime scene training room was financed by Germany and implemented by its development implementation agency GIZ under the project “Support for Capacity Development in the Criminal Investigative Services in Pakistan” (CIS). The two auditoria have been refurbished under the United Kingdom's Counter Terrorism and Associated Prosecutorial Reform Initiative (CAPRI), which has also received financing from the European Union.

At the inauguration German Ambassador Lepel said:

“Strengthening the rule of law across the country is one of the crucial factors for long-term development in Pakistan. Germany remains committed to offer its resources and expertise to support Pakistan’s police and prosecution services in their efforts in this regard. The Punjab Forensic Science Agency highlights the close and effective cooperation both between Germany and Pakistan and amongst the international donors in the area of rule of law. Together, we hope to make a real difference for the benefit of all citizens.”

Head of the Delegation of the European Union, Ambassador Jean-François Cautain, said:

“Through its programmes the EU is supporting the functioning of the Rule of Law in Punjab, and one of the components of that support is assistance provided to the Punjab Forensic Science Agency. The Agency is one of the most important elements contributing at building  trust in the judiciary process among Pakistani citizens. Development partners' support to the Punjab Forensic Science Agency is an excellent example of coordination and cooperation not only between the Government of Punjab and development partners but also development partners themselves.”

BACKGROUNDER:

The PFSA was established in 2011 at a cost of PKR 2.5 billion under the direct patronage of H.E. Chief Minister Muhammad Shabaz Sharif. It serves as a fully operational lab and a teaching facility for scientists, technicians and law enforcement personnel.

CIS is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany, a two-year programme (2015-2016) with a budget of €4.7 million, located in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. CIS aims at strengthening the institutional and human resource capacities of the relevant actors in the criminal investigative services (police and prosecutors) with regard to evidence preservation, collection and presentation. The PFSA crime scene training room is the first of five such facilities to be completed and was constructed between September and November 2015 for a total cost of approx. €60,000.

CAPRI is a seven-year programme (2012-2019) with a forensic component funded by the European Union (approx. €2 million) and overseen by the British High Commission that works on six areas of the criminal justice system that are related to counter terrorism. The construction of the auditoria, which complement the training room constructed under the GIZ’s CIS programme, started in September and was completed in November 2015, with a total cost of approximately £40,000.