‘Government set to reform criminal law’

Says minister while speaking at condolence gathering of two lawyers killed in Attock

Our Correspondent June 22, 2024


Federal Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar has announced that the government is set to introduce comprehensive reforms to the outdated criminal law system, aiming to ensure justice through parliamentary and governmental efforts.

He was speaking at a condolence gathering at the Rawalpindi High Court Bar Association (RHCBA), paying tribute to the two senior lawyers who were killed in the Attock recently.

Currently, only a small fraction—less than 10%—of those accused of severe crimes in Pakistan are held accountable, he said, adding that revolutionary changes would be made in criminal and civil law in the next three to four months.

In response to an appeal for justice by Malik Israr Advocate’s daughter, Tarar assured that “justice will not only be done but will also be seen to be done.” He acknowledged the incident as a challenge and a test case for the legal system, admitting that the current justice system requires substantial reforms.

Tarar mentioned that upon the formation of the new assembly, Nawaz Sharif had highlighted the inadequacies of criminal law, leading to the establishment of a committee that has since made significant progress in updating the law.

With a conviction rate of just 7% in severe criminal cases, the minister highlighted ongoing efforts to enhance the efficiency and accessibility of the legal system for both plaintiffs and defendants. The reforms aim to provide relief to financially weak individuals who are often oppressed by the current system. He stressed that the reforms would prioritise justice and support for the oppressed, rather than benefiting judges or the elite.

A case has been registered for the murders in Attock, and the suspect has been apprehended with an ongoing investigation. Tarar assured that the challan would be presented in court promptly and that under the Anti-Terrorism Act, a daily trial could be conducted.

He emphasised that lawyers are not terrorists and should be treated with respect and support, assuring that no FIR related to terrorism would be filed against lawyers unjustly.

Senior Lawyer Hassan Raza Pasha called for strict law implementation, citing high conviction rates in Japan and European countries. He criticised the silence of other political parties and media organisations regarding the murders and stressed the need for immediate action and prompt submission of the challan. Pasha highlighted the struggles faced by lawyers and demanded that anti-terrorism court cases be resolved swiftly, or the law should be abolished.

Lawyers, Pasha noted, have no political affiliations and stand united as a family in their pursuit of justice.



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