KARACHI: The Sindh home department has drafted a witness protection programme following the directives of provincial home and prisons minister Zulfiqar Mirza, according to a statement issued on Sunday.
The draft, prepared by home affairs consultant Sharfuddin Memon, mainly focuses on a programme designed to protect the witnesses of crimes from harm and so to encourage people to come forward to testify.
“The witness protection programme will ensure the protection of witnesses from physical harm and intimidation.
The programme also applies to close family members who may also be under threat,” Memon noted. “The idea was conceived after observing that witnesses were reluctant to come forward because of fear, especially in cases of homicide and terrorism,” he explained.
After reviewing the working paper, Mirza directed the home department to ensure security under the programme to witnesses and family members, to assist witnesses and family in obtaining a means of livelihood and extend free education and health facilities to dependent children in case the witness is killed or handicapped.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2010.