Strategic Reforms Unit: Punjab govt rebuts report of VAWC closure

LAHORE: The Punjab government has issued a rebuttal of an article published in The Express Tribune on 9.1.2018 by Owais Qarni. It reads that the article “mentions the upcoming closure of the first of its kind, Violence Against Women Centre (VAWC), established in Multan by the Chief Minister’s Strategic Reforms Unit (SRU) in March 2017.

Contrary to the opinions and observations mentioned in the article, the success of the first Centre has prompted further VAWCs to be established in other districts of the Punjab including Gujranwala, Rawalpindi and Multan and for which Rs500 Million has already been allocated.”

It further reads “The article misquotes that a male SHO was appointed by district authorities and was therein suspended after a few months. The VAWC has never had a male SHO so the question of being suspended is inaccurate, secondly VAWC employs an all female operational staff. Moreover, the police wing is headed by a competent female SP who is assisted by a female SHO, since VAWC’s inauguration in March 2017. The provision of competent female human resource has been a key feature of the Centre.

The article further mentions the failure of the Centre to house prosecutors and judges. In contrast, the Centre has two dedicated prosecutors appointed from the Provincial Prosecution Department since inauguration who are duly equipped with handling cases of GBV and further sensitized to the issue through participating in specialized trainings.”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2018.

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