Alako: No security without justice, rule of law
KABUL (PAN): Attorney General Mohammad Ishaq Alako said judicial officials are ready to ensure justice and the rule of law in the provinces where Afghans are slated to assume security responsibility soon.
Alako told a press conference also attended by the provincial attorneys of seven provinces that those provinces were fully prepared to take over judicial affairs and ensure justice, but he highlighted remaining challenges to be addressed in those provinces.
He mentioned that a lack of security and buildings for judicial institutions, low salaries and understaffed security forces are some of the major problems. He said his office had shared its concerns with the security transition commission which, in response, had assigned the relevant entities to help resolve them.
The first phase of security transition is due to start July 14 in seven areas and will take a week to complete. The seven areas include Kabul province except the Surobi district, Panjshir and Bamyan provinces, and the cities of Laskhkargah, Herat, Mehtarlam and Mazar-e-Sharif. The security transition will then continue across the country and is scheduled to be completed in 2014.
Alako said the Ministry of Interior will augment the number of policemen in the districts, and the Ministry of Finance pledged to equalize the salary between lawyers and judges.
Alako stressed: “Security cannot be ensured without justice and rule of law.”
Arguing that the presence of lawyers is necessary to bring about justice and eradicate corruption, the administrative head of Attorney General’s Office, Abdul Wakil Amini, said: “If there are no lawyers in a society, justice will not be ensured and the society will go astray.”
He added that only 28 of the provincial attorneys’ offices have buildings, and that the Attorney General’s office is trying to reconstruct buildings in the rest of the provinces and districts with the support of the international community.
Amini said provincial attorneys would be given 6000 Afghanis in hazard pay in addition to their salary, as well as other benefits after the security transition.
He added that the increase in lawyers’ salary will help prevent corruption and pave the way for them to work in the districts and provincial cities.
Balkh appellate court chief Zahir Nader, who also attended the conference, told Pajhwok, “If the salaries of lawyers are increased, I am sure corruption will be prevented.”
Nader said justice will only be ensured if the root causes of corruption in attorneys’ offices are eradicated. He added that a lack of security is another obstacle to the establishment of rule of law.
Similarly, Marya Bashir, the provincial attorney of Herat, said lawyers in Herat often face threats from the Taliban. She requested that the government increase the police force in Herat and provide security so that lawyers can work safely.
Bashir concluded: “We are ready to ensure justice and rule of law after security responsibilities are handed over to Afghan forces.”