Speakers at the first-ever national conference on criminology Friday called for modernizing the crime investigation techniques through massive reforms in order to counter the weaker law and order situation emanating from the ongoing war against terrorism in the country. The three-day event titled ‘Institutionalizing Criminology in Pakistan: Issues and Challenges’ was organized by the Department of Criminology at SSAQ Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, University of Peshawar. A total of 68 research papers were presented by eminent scholars during the deliberations, which concluded Friday.
The initiative aimed at highlighting the working of the newly established Department of Criminology at the University of Peshawar which would not only help provide quality education in the discipline of criminology, which is relatively new to Pakistan, but also provide the graduates an edge in the job market, particularly as experts of forensics, prosecution, prisons and probation. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has sponsored the conference as part of Rs 180 million endowment for establishing country’s first-ever Institute of Criminology and Forensic Studies at the University of Peshawar.
Department of Criminology Chairman Dr Basharat Hussain, Pakistan Society of Criminology President DIG (r) Fasihud Din and KP Public Service Commission Member Dr Sarah Safdar were prominent among those who spoke during the conference. Addressing the participants, the speakers deplored that Pakistani criminal justice system institutions were not able to cope with the present day challenges, adding that police, prosecution, judiciary and prisons lack adequate modern education, necessary technology and a rule of law-oriented conception of criminal investigation. The system also suffers from a lack of capacity on the part of individual institutions and involved actors, especially with regard to coordinating their efforts, they said, and added that crime rates are high yet only a small proportion of cases result in convictions.
Fasihud Din, who had served as commandant of Police Training Centre Hangu, said that several police officers did not know the process of probation in their training that showed lack of basic knowledge in academia.