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Sections 102-106 of the Local Government Ordinance, 2001
This section included in the constitution to help people to get their dispute resolved at small levels. For example divorce case can be resolved at the ‘Nazim’ or even counselor level of the town. This makes people’s life more comfortable and now so many cases of this nature can be resolved at this lower level. Do you think that this law really helps people in resolving issues and reduces the number of cases pending in the courts?
Speech by Mr. Riaz Akhtar
National Project Director - GJTMAP
Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development, Islamabad
Seminar on 'Justice for All/Alternate Dispute Resolution'
Topic: "Justice for All through Musalihat Anjuman at Grass Roots level"
Quetta, November 4th, 2006
Bismillah arr Rahman nir Rahim
Honourable Chief Justice of Pakistan - Mr. Justice Iftikhar Muhammad
Chaudhry, Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jilani - Chairman Supreme Court
Committee on ADR, Mr. Justice Sabihuddin Ahmed - Chief Justice Sindh
High Court, Mr. Justice Amanullah Khan Yasenzai - Chief Justice Balochistan
High Court, Maulana Shorodi, Minister LG&RD Balochistan, Sardar
Mohammad Idrees, Minister LG&RD NWFP, Justice Kailash Nath Kholi,
Honourable Judges, Provincial Ministers, Chief Secretary Balochistan, Capt.
(Retd.) Yunus Durrani, Secretary LG&RD/Chairperson GJTMAP Provincial
Steering Committee, National Project Manager - Mr. Hamid Afridi, District
Nazim's, Provincial Project Directors and Managers; Distinguished guests,
ladies and gentlemen.
Assalamu Alaikum wa ramahmatullah
Gender Justice though Musalihat Anjuman Project (GJTMAP) is a major
initiative of the Government of Pakistan in collaboration with the UNDP and
other donors to safeguard the rights and entitlements of women and other
vulnerable sections of society by institutionalizing community supported
dispute resolution mechanisms such as the Musalihat Anjumans (MAs).
The Project is being implemented by the Ministry of Local Government and
Rural Development (LG&RD) at the Federal level along with the four
Provincial LG&RD Departments under the overall framework of Local
Government Ordinance 2001.
The Project was initiated in eight districts of the country, 2 in each province,
in 2005. These include: Quetta & Lasbela in Balochistan, Abbotabad & DI
Khan in NWFP, Bahawalpur & Attock in Punjab & Dadu & Shikarpur in Sindh.
The need for such a Project arose from the Social Audit of Abuse Against
Women (SAAAW) conducted by the Ministry of Women Development
which identified the problems of access to formal judicial system for
women & other vulnerable groups as a result of heavy workload on judicial
system and limited resources. The social audit suggested Alternate Dispute
Resolution (ADR) mechanism as a means for providing ‘justice for all’ at
grass-roots level under the new local governance system.
The Local Government Ordinance 2001 provides under Chapter 11,
Sections 102 - 106 for the establishment of Musalihat Anjumans (MAs) at
each Union Council.
The specific clauses of the LGO 2001 that relate to the MAs are:
• 102 - Constitution of Musalihat Anjuman
• 103 - Amicable settlement of disputes
• 104 - Referral of cases by courts to MAs
• 105 - Appointment of Musleh for individual cases
• 106 - Procedure of settlement of the disputes
The overall Project goal is “to assist women and other vulnerable sections of
society in improving their conditions through safeguarding and promoting
their rights and lawful entitlements”
The specific objectives of the project are:
• Constitution and mobilization of the Musalihat Anjumans in all Union
Councils in the pilot districts (under Section 102, LGO 2001);
• Musalihat Anjuman’s capacity built to dispense gender justice at
the community level through MASS;
• Partnerships between judiciary, police and Musalihat Anjuman for
accountable, fair and equitable dispensation of justice; and
• Community Advocacy for legal rights of Women and Men’s role in
The Project is being implemented by the Ministry of LG&RD which is the
Executing Agency in close collaboration with UNDP and Provincial LG&RD
The Project is being co-funded by UNDP, Swiss Development Cooperation,
and the Royal Netherlands Embassy.
A National Steering Committee (NSC) at the Federal level and Provincial
Steering Committee’s (PSC) in each Province provide the strategic policy
guidance to the Project.
The detailed implementation status of the project is already available in
your folders a gist of it is:
• A Project Management Unit (PMU) has been established at the Federal
level and in all four Provinces in the LG&RD Ministry and Departments,
• To-date, 468 MAs have been established with almost 100% women
representation in all 08 pilot districts in the four Provinces;
• Until 30th June 2006, a total of 493 cases have been amicably settled in
all pilot districts with an increasing number of cases being received for
• The Rules of Business for MAs in all the 4 provinces have been notified
and printed in the official gazettes after a model was prepared at the
Federal level through extensive Provincial and District level consultations
and endorsed by the National Steering Committee;
• The Musalihat Anjuman Support Services (MASS) a consortium of civil
society organizations specializing in Human Rights in all the four
provinces have been notified with the mandate to initial policy dialogue
for strengthening MAs and ensure capacity building;
• District level forums, the Musalihat Anjuman Justice Advocates (MAJA)
which are mandated to support and monitor the performance of the
MAs to ensure fair dispensation of justice, provide technical back
stopping to MAs and advocate human rights and ensuring men's role in
ending gender violence have been notified in each of the 8 pilot
• Networking with district level bodies and judiciary including Criminal
Justice Coordination Committees and Bar Associations have been
ensured to minimize the menace of gender violence with increasing
coordination between the judiciary and Police and other district level
• A number of awareness raising activities have been completed at the
local level to promote and advocate the role of MAs and legal rights
• A comprehensive National Advocacy and Communication strategy is
being drafted which would lead to the implementation of a
communication campaign at local, district, and national level using the
electronic, print media, and traditional means of communication at the
• Brochures and pamphlets have been developed and disseminated that
highlight the legal and gender rights; and
• A monitoring and reporting system with proper linkages from Union
Councils to District, Provincial and Federal levels and a Project website
have been developed and linked to MoLG&RD Official site. The address
of the website is Gender Justice Through Musalihat Anjuman Project (GJTMAP) - Welcome. This website will be officially
Ladies & Gentlemen
Evidence has shown that the Musalihat Anjumans provide a cost effective
and socially acceptable forum for conflict resolution at the community
level. Besides creating harmony in society, the MAs provide a credible way
towards easy and affordable justice practically at the doorsteps.
Therefore, based on tangible results and success of the pilot phase, the
Project has been up-scaled and an agreement to this effect was signed
between MoLG&RD & UNDP and endorsed by EAD on July 10, 2006. The
second phase of the Project starts from 2007 to 2011 at a total cost of US $
7.44 million co-funded by UNDP, Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC)
and Royal Norwegian Embassy (NoRAD).
Twelve (12) additional districts are being selected by the Provinces as per
the criteria laid down in the Project Document which would be endorsed
by the National Steering Committee in its up-coming meeting scheduled
during the present (4th) quarter of 2006. As a result, the number of UCs with
MAs would increase from the present 468 to more than 1,100 by the end of
The main activities in expanded phase of the Project would be to
consolidate on-going activities with greater emphasis on capacity building
at District & UC levels and awareness raising of community of rights and
Ladies & Gentlemen
Taking the opportunity from the presence of the Honourable Chief Justice
of Pakistan at this august gathering, I would like to make a few submissions
for his kind consideration and further directions:
• An opportunity to make a presentation to Honourable Chief Justice of
Pakistan at his convenience
• Guidance and overall support to the Project and appropriate
instructions to High Courts/District Judiciary & Police Authorities to
support the ADR process at UC level through Musalihat Anjumans by
referring appropriate cases to them
• Orientation/trainings on ADR, LGO, RoBs for judiciary (Courses at Judicial
• Need for reconciling LGO provisions with related laws (Muslim Family
Act, Small Claims Ordinance, etc.) after legal review by Project through
Justice & Law Commission/Ministry of Law
• Membership of Gender Justice Project in the District level Criminal
Coordination Committees for improved coordination and results
I thank the organizers of this seminar for their excellent arrangements and I
hope the seminar would be a stepping stone for greater coordination and
collaboration between all the stakeholders towards our collective goal of
‘Justice for all.’
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to especially thank on behalf of
MoLG&RD the Honourable Chief Guest - Mr. Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry,
Honourable Judges, Provincial Ministers, UNDP & GSP partners, NPM &
Provincial GJTMAP staff …… for their participation and support…..
Congratulation's to the organizer's…..
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