ASEAN senior officials discussed the idea of an East Asian summit Saturday and agreed that the nation grouping should be the primary force if such a framework is established, Indonesian foreign ministry official Makarim Wibisono told reporters. Wibisono disclosed that Malaysia had offered to host a future East Asian summit, adding that China and South Korea have also endorsed the idea.
Given the gravity of internal security challenges, the Pakistan Peoples Party PPP -led government in Islamabad, and the four provincial governments should make the reform of an Reformed ptcl criminal justice sector a top domestic priority.
The low conviction rate, between 5 and 10 per cent at best, is unsurprising in a system where investigators are poorly Reformed ptcl and lack access to basic data and modern investigation tools.
Prosecutors, also poorly trained, are not closely involved in investigations. Given the absence of scientific evidence collection methods and credible witness protection programs, police and prosecutors rely mostly on confessions by the accused, which are inadmissible in court.
Militants and other major criminals are regularly released on bail, or their trials persist for years even as they plan operations from prison. Terrorism cases, too, produce few convictions.
A military-led counter-terrorism effort, defined by haphazard and heavy-handed force against some militant networks, short-sighted peace deals with others, and continued support to India and Afghanistan-oriented jihadi groups, has yielded few successes.
Instead, the extremist rot has spread to most of the country. Wresting civilian control over counter-terrorism policy, a key challenge of the current democratic transition, will require massive investments in police and prosecutors, specifically to enhance investigative capacity and case building.
Successes in combating serious crime, including kidnappings-for-ransom and sectarian terrorism, during the democratic transition of the s demonstrate that civilian law enforcement agencies can be effective when properly authorised and equipped.
With the scale of violence far greater today, the government needs all the more to utilise political and fiscal capital to modernise the criminal justice sector.
Criminal justice cannot, however, be isolated from the broader challenges of the democratic transition. The repeated suspension of the constitution by military regimes, followed by extensive reforms to centralise power and to strengthen their civilian allies, notably the religious right, have undermined constitutionalism and the rule of law.
As a result, Pakistan moved farther and farther away from international standards of justice. The current parliament has, through the eighteenth constitutional amendment, reversed many of these distortions and added new provisions that, if implemented, may indeed strengthen constitutionalism and political stability.
More legal reforms are needed. Discriminatory religious laws remain in force, and the justice system is still predisposed towards miscarriage.
The policy applies enormous pressures on civil and criminal courts to resolve cases within a fixed timeframe. However, with a lopsided emphasis on speedier delivery, the NJP has failed to address critical weaknesses in the judiciary, including the criminal justice system. An already low conviction rate could decline even further.
Such measures, including antiterrorism courts, have failed to produce the desired results, and have also undermined the quality of justice. An enhanced and reformed criminal justice sector remains the best and only sustainable option.Tollens' reagent is a chemical reagent used to determine the presence of an aldehyde, aromatic aldehyde and alpha-hydroxy ketone functional groups.
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Parvez Iftikhar is a telecom industry veteran based in Islamabad. He served as the founding CEO of Pakistan's Universal Service Fund (), a public-private telecom development organisation.