Islamabad(TNS) : Justice Sector Strengthening Project (JSSP) Reflective Session Hosted by The Asia Foundation and Islamic Research Institute

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Islamabad – 30 August 2023 (Adnan Hameed) : The event was a contemplative reflection session that convened participants from the ‘Training of Trainers’ intervention under the project funded by the U.S. Government through the U.S. Embassy’s Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL). This undertaking, a testament to the concerted endeavours of the Asia Foundation, the Islamic Research Institute at the International Islamic University Islamabad (IRI-IIUI), pertinent government entities, and grassroots community networks, seeks to enhance the efficacy of Pakistan’s judicial institutions in addressing GBV cases. The overarching objective of this initiative is to ensure that Punjab’s justice apparatus is suitably empowered to process GBV cases while placing the welfare of the survivors at the forefront. By engendering an environment where survivors find their voices amplified and their rights upheld. This aspiration is underpinned by a multifaceted strategy that encompasses not only capacity building but also galvanizing community networks and augmenting public awareness.

In his keynote address, Ambassador Blome emphasized the United States’ commitment to supporting Pakistan’s efforts in combating Gender-Based Violence, stating in his remarks: “The United States and Pakistan share a common interest in promoting gender security as a matter of national security policy. We welcome opportunities to engage and advance our shared goals of improving the status of women and their access to justice in Pakistan, which we all know is critical to achieving economic prosperity, ensuring stability, and securing the rule of law.” The synergistic partnership between the Asia Foundation, the Islamic Research Institute, and the broader spectrum of the community exemplifies the potency of collaboration in driving positive and enduring change.

In a statement, the Deputy Prosecutor General Punjab, Ms. Nuzhat Bashir emphasized the paramount significance of a robust justice system in curbing GBV. She noted, “The role of a resilient justice system cannot be understated in our collective pursuit to combat GBV. It serves as the bedrock upon which the edifice of a just society stands.”

The Asia Foundation, in collaboration with the Islamic Research Institute, is taking a holistic approach to address GBV. The Acting Country Representative, Haris Qayyum, has confirmed that they are considering cultural and religious sensitivities while providing training and knowledge dissemination. Government officials and community networks in Punjab are engaged.

Dr. Muhammad Zia-Ul-Haq, Director General, IRI, IIUI, also stated that this collaborative initiative seeks to heighten public consciousness and engender a climate of accountability with regard to the ramifications of GBV on both, society at large and the individual survivors. The event transpired within the confines of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad and brought together a coterie of distinguished stakeholders, participants of the Training of Trainers program, and delegates from the U.S. Embassy, the Asia Foundation, the Islamic Research Institute, as well as collaborating organizations.

At the end of the reflective session, the participants expressed their determination to contribute to creating a society free from Gender-Based Violence. They continue to work collaboratively towards a more equitable and just Pakistan, where the inalienable rights and dignity of every individual are respected.