UNITED NATIONS: Reaffirming its commitment to the rule of law, Pakistan told the international community on Friday that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif’s government was working hard to provide speedy and inexpensive justice, promote a culture of accountability and eliminate corruption.
“This pincer in the overall strategy is supported by the other, equally important, pincer for reducing poverty, creating jobs and accelerating economic development,” Ambassador Masood Khan said during the course of a roundtable discussion at the United Nations.
“Pakistan ardently supports a sharp (and) smart focus on the rule of law in the post-2015 Development Agenda,” the Pakistani envoy said in his remarks on “The rule of law as a driver of inclusive development opportunities.”
He also said that the Pakistan Law Commission was reviewing all existing laws in an effort to repeal outdated ones and amend them in the light of new requirements. Pakistan’s Parliament was fully seized of the urgency to adapt law-making to the imperatives of inclusive development.
“To attack corruption, we are striving to evolve a transparent, rule-based and merit-driven system,” Masood Khan told the panel.
Discussing the topic, he emphasized that the rule of law was an integral part of economic development, and without that just and rights-based societies could not be created.
“The rule of law is a multidimensional concept which encompasses protection of individual rights, good governance, checks and balances in government, transparency and accountability of institutions, security of property, enforcement of contracts, and measures against corruption,” he said, while stressing the need for equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of national resources, a secure ecosystem, gender equality, inclusion, and political participation.
In this context, the Pakistani envoy said the norm of the rule of law should be universal, covering both conflict and non-conflict situations. The rule of law had to be conceived in the broader context of good governance and the right to development.
Institution building was a major priority, he said, adding that without strong and resilient institutions, “we will be merely building sand castles even if we are passing the most robust laws.
“Instead of a top-down approach, we should bolster a peoples-driven paradigm supported by the grass roots communities.”
He stressed national ownership and indigenous development of laws. A major effort was needed to build capacities and competencies in the developing countries to strengthen the rule of law.
New laws to protect environment and deal with climate change should be part of that goal, the Pakistani envoy added.