FIR reforms key to improving the criminal justice system says FIA official

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ISLAMABAD: Additional Director of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Dr. Ehsan Sadiq on Monday said implementation of First Information Report (FIR) reforms could improve the criminal justice system considerably.

He was speaking at the launch of research publications at the Center of Research and Security Studies (CRSS).

“There have been many attempts at fixing the FIR system, especially three landmark Supreme Court decisions from 2018 and 2016. In addition, the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan, the Federal Ombudsman, the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency, The Police Reforms Committee, and the Attorney General of Pakistan, all have provided various proposals to reform the FIR system at various points in time. The problem is not the lack of rules or options to reform, the problem is the implementation.” Dr. Ehsan Sadiq said.

The event centered around the launch of four research publications that look at national security in Pakistan from a variety of socio-economic and cultural perspectives.

Dr. Sadiq said a range of factors had rendered the FIR in Pakistan a complex phenomenon and a constant battleground for social and legal wrangling.

He also reviewed the legal framework, relating to the registration of an FIR, explained reasons for non-registration and remedies available in case of non-registration.

Executive Director CRSS Imtiaz Gul said empirical research forms the basis of all programmatic endeavors and should be the go-to resource for any and all formal policy interventions.

The CRSS Annual Security Report 2019, authored by Mohammad Nafees and Zeeshan Salahuddin, states that there were no drone strikes in the country in 2019, a first since 2004. Consolidating its position in its fight against terror, this year Pakistan observed a 30.71pc drop in terrorism, reducing from 980 fatalities in 2018 to 679 in 2019.

Finally, a fellow at CRSS Arslan Alvi apprised the audience that South Asian countries still rely on a responsive approach rather than proactive.

Karachi, being the biggest city in Pakistan, contributes 20pc to Pakistan’s GDP and controls about 80pc of Pakistan’s import. If struck by a natural disaster, this would wreak havoc on Pakistan’s economy, he said.

This was the first research launch event by the CRSS of 2020. The next call for papers will be announced later in the week, and the second launch event will be conducted in May, featuring brand new research into the security landscape of Pakistan.

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