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=> ISLAMABAD, Jan 30: The centre is working with all

ISLAMABAD, Jan 30: The centre is working with all provincial governments to extend continuous and enhanced financial support to the Gender Justice Through Musalihat Anjuman Project (GJTMAP), Secretary Local Government and Rural Development Mohammad Saleem Khan said on Wednesday.

Speaking in the 4th National Steering Committee meeting, Mr Khan said the experience of providing justice to common people through alternative dispute resolution mechanism had proved largely beneficial.

He said the Musalihat Anjuman had been providing justice to the masses on the doorstep.

Talking about the project objectives and performance in 2007, National Programme Director Riaz Akhtar said 1,003 Musalihat Anjumans, or reconciliatory committees, had been constituted out of total 1,051 union councils (99 per cent) in 20 project districts throughout the country.

Women representation in the committees stands at 845 (84 per cent). Out of the total 5,763 cases received, 4,175 were amicably resolved.

Mr Akhtar said the ownership of the project in all the provincial and district governments was increasing. Similarly, institutional backup from police and judiciary was strengthening gradually, which was going to improve the overall performance and acceptability of the project.

United Nations development Programme’s (UNDP’s) Assistant Resident Representative Faiza Effendi observed that the number of cases being dealt with by the committees needed to be increased.

The future targets should be in terms of number of cases and active involvement on women in the proceedings, she added.

She emphasised the improvement of data quality and its professional handling through a system of cross checking.

Later, the recently included districts, viz. Nowshera (NWFP) and Sanghar (Sindh), were placed before the steering committee for endorsement, which endorsed them unanimously.

The Annual Work Plan 2008 was also presented before the committee for approval.

Ms Effendi said: “We agree in principal on the planned activities, however, all these activities should be prepared by the respective PPMUS in terms of their budget and then a consolidated budget could be approved.”

The budget of all the activities of year 2008 will be prepared by respective PPMUs, which will be circulated to all the members of the steering committee for comments and observations and will be forwarded for approval by the committee chairman, she added.

The committee expressed satisfaction at the performance of year 2007 despite financial constraints, however, the need to improve number of cases, positive involvement of women, improved linkages with police and judiciary and more communication activities was emphasised.
Source: Dawn
Date:1/31/2008

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