Better access to justice in KPK
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government is taking welcome steps to strengthen the rule of law and various state institutions with the help of the UN and several foreign governments. A recent UN Development Programme press release highlights the various projects, which include establishing mobile courts for remote areas, refurbishing civil courts, conducting training programmes and workshops that support citizens’ access to justice. Concomitantly, scholarships for women lawyers to mitigate the gender divide in legal circles; training for judges, clerks, police officials to strengthen the judicial system; and information campaigns for the people about their legal rights are also being conducted.
These moves, especially regarding citizens’ access to justice, have precedent. The PTI government passed a progressive Right to Information law in December 2013, making it easier for applicants to apply and imperative for government officials to respond. The provincial government seems to be aware that good governance and accountability, elusive concepts across the country these days, are probably their best bet to get re-elected, apart from being core campaign promises last year.