The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government is planning to establish state-of-the-art forensic labs in six regions across the province that will provide affective investigation and prosecution facilities to the police.
The labs will be based on the model of Punjab Forensic Science Laboratory and will be set up in Malakand, Peshawar, Mardan, Bannu, Kohat and Hazara. They will be equipped with the required qualified staff.
The lab in Peshawar will serve as a training centre for forensic personnel, in addition to serving as a scientific laboratory.
“The forensic lab in Malakand division is supported by United Nations Development Program, while other labs will be established with support from the provincial government after fulfilling ground work,” said K-P Forensic Science Laboratory Director Muhammad Ayub.
Ayub added that current laboratories in the province were old and not producing the desired results to catch culprits, primarily due to shortage of qualified staff and lack of equipment.
The new forensic labs will have five sections of expertise, including firearm injury, chemical section, crime-scene evidence, crime-scene presentation and finger printing. These sections will be essential in obtaining proof for prosecution, he added.
“One lab will cost between rupees seven to eight billion. A presentation will be given to a group of judges in Islamabad on Monday about the importance of forensic labs and its role in prosecution,” said Ayub.
An investigation officer requesting anonymity said they were facing serious problems in the investigative process due to post-mortems not being conducted through scientific methods.
“The methods being used in our region are very old and need to be updated. Terrorists change their methods and so the government should also change the way they conduct investigations,” the officer said.
Autopsies conducted in investigations provide evidence for legal actions and determine the cause of death and its circumstances.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2013.