PESHAWAR (Our Correspondent): The Chief Secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Dr. Shahzad Khan Bangash, U.S. Embassy’s International Narcotics and Law (INL) Director Lori Antolinez, and UNDP Pakistan Resident Representative Knut Ostby inaugurated the KP Prosecution Academy at Mira Kachori in Peshawar today.
The Academy was built by UNDP in partnership with the Government of KP with support from the United States Government through its Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcements Affairs (US-INL).
Spread over 50 Kanal of land (6.25 Acres) allocated by the Government of KP, the Academy is equipped with a state-of-the-art training facility, an administration block with conference and meeting halls, dedicated monitoring and research rooms, computer labs, auditoriums, libraries, and a large residential compound. The Academy will deliver a wide range of trainings to men and women prosecutors, lawyers, and other professionals. In addition to curriculum designed for basic and specialized trainings, the Academy is also equipped with an e-learning center to meet digital learning needs.
The Chief Secretary of KP, Dr. Shahzad Khan Bangash, was the chief guest at the inauguration, and applauded the joint effort of the Government of United States, UNDP, and the Prosecution Directorate. “Prosecution is an important component of the criminal justice chain, and it is a prerequisite for an equitable criminal justice system. This academy will help strengthen the criminal justice system by contributing to the professional growth of present and future prosecutors and legal professionals in Pakistan.” He also extended his appreciation to Government of KP, the United States Government, and UNDP in their efforts to improve prosecution services through well-trained prosecutors and legal professionals.
U.S. Embassy’s INL Director, Lori Antolinez congratulated the Government of KP and UNDP on this important initiative and said, “These efforts pave the way for the effective and efficient delivery of justice in KP through the training of a professional cadre of prosecutors.” She emphasized that the United States remains committed to strengthening institutions and promoting the rule of law in Pakistan. This year marks the 75th anniversary of bilateral relations between the United States and Pakistan, during which the U.S. Government has provided over $32 billion USD in development and security assistance to Pakistan since 2002 alone.
In his address, UNDP Pakistan Resident Representative Mr. Knut Ostby highlighted that the design and construction of the academy was also informed by the needs of women prosecutors and legal professionals. “Increasing women’s representation in rule of law institutions is integral to equitable justice service delivery in Pakistan. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure an enabling environment for women. The KP Prosecution Academy has a dedicated women’s wing with a hostel and a day care facility, and it will help more women to attend trainings and advance in their careers. We hope these efforts will also encourage more women to join the legal profession.”
The Prosecution Academy is a remarkable addition to KP rule of law institutions and will play a key role in strengthening the capacity of rule of law professionals, encouraging more women to join and advance in the legal profession, and building a well-trained legal fraternity of highly skilled women and men in the province.
The UNDP Rule of Law Programme is implementing a range of interventions to strengthen security and justice sector governance in Pakistan.