Community Based Dispute Resolution Through Mediation in Karachi
Karachi, the volatile southern port city of Pakistan, is often cited among the most dangerous cities of the world. Ethnic, sectarian, political violence and terrorism has plagued the city for decades. Conflicts within communities have ended up in frivolous litigation and at times violence. Justice system lags behind with years of pendency. Subsequently women and children find it hard to receive justice due to the time consuming nature of litigation. Keeping such drawbacks in mind, National Centre for Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Peace and Development Organisation launched a project in Karachi to establish ADR mechanisms within different communities in Karachi. The areas defined were Korangi, Jamhuria, Sultanabad and Hijrat Colony from which community elders/representatives, religious representatives and police officials were selected to be trained in the art of dispute resolution by mediation.
The first part of the training has commenced a few days ago whereby the community elders/representatives, including political workers, are being trained in the art of mediation. To counter the volatile nature of these communities, training groups for amicable settlement of disputes is a must to promote communal, sectarian, interfaith harmony. This is currently a pilot project which will be observed for a year and if successful, the project will be replicated in many other communities, not only across the city but the entire country.