The first ever Government-Citizen Forum was held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan recently.
The forum brought government officials and citizens together to discuss security issues and solutions, including the need to protect minorities and other targeted groups, such as journalists and polio workers.
It was organised by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Department of Home and Tribal Affairs in collaboration with the Coffey-managed Aitebaar Program.
University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar Vice Chancellor Imtiaz Gilani took part in the forum and welcomed the initiative.
“Expert opinion at the right time is needed at all levels of the government, and we are glad to see that it is taken into consideration by the current government,” he said.
The meetings will now be held on a monthly basis to provide an opportunity for government officials to demonstrate actions they have taken since previous meetings.
The forum was attended by senior representatives from the Department of Home and Tribal Affairs, Police Department, Prosecution Department, Prison Department and the Provincial Public Safety and Police Complaint Commission. Citizens taking part included representatives from the private sector, academia, media and civil society.
The Aitebaar program aims to bridge the gap between government and citizens by facilitating platforms such as this one. It is funded by the UK government.