ISLAMABAD: Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Muhammad Ali said here on Monday that size of un-documented economy is expanding, as people are not voluntarily paying their taxes…Highlighting the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Muhammad Ali said that the businesses can play a significant role in the CSR. Three areas where businesses can really make an impact on policy, bringing an end to local conflicts are: Corporate Social Responsibility; Good Governance Practices and Mediation.

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A Supreme Court judge has underscored the importance of developing alternative dispute resolution mechanism to provide speedy justice to the people.

“The people around the world have gone ahead of us in the use of alternative dispute resolution methods: they now call it amicable/appropriate dispute resolution,” Justice Nasirul Mulk said while speaking at a certificate awarding ceremony at the Federal Judicial Academy (FJA) on Friday, according to press release issued by the FJA.”

Web-link: http://tribune.com.pk/story/473428/speedy-justice-sc-judge-for-new-dispute-resol…

Winding up the German Training Project, which had begun in October 2010, KCDR held a closing ceremony on the last training day of the program on February 22, 2011 in which Dr. Brecht, General Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany, and Justice Mushir Alam, Chief Justice, Sindh High Court were the Chief Guests of Honor.
Justice (Rtd) Saiduzzaman Siddiqui, and Dr. Zafar Ahmed Khan Sherwani welcomed the guests. Dr. Brecht and Justice Mushir Alam awarded certificates to the participants of the last batch on successful completion of the mediation workshop.  Both of the Chief Guests were given the emblem of KCDR to recognize their cooperation and support to KCDR.

KCDR with the approval of the High Court of Sindh has also successfully initiated a project that offers pro bono mediation in 2000 cases involving poor persons pending in courts aimed at backlog reduction. Donations from corporate sector along with foreign financial assistance are both being employed to achieve the objective of this result oriented program. Currently, free mediation in 22 cases is underway, and more are soon to be taken up. The High Court has directed to the family court of District South to refer all the family cases and guardian wards cases fixed for pre-trial and post-trial for mediation at the camp office of KCDR at City Court, Small Causes Courts Building, Karachi.

On August 19th, 2010 a meeting was held at the PHMA House where KCDR was represented by Dr. Zafar Ahmed Khan Sherwani, Director KCDR and Ms. Maliha Azhar, Corporate Secretary & Case Administrator KCDR and Ms. Saima Zuberi, Project Officer represented IFC. Also present at the meeting were Members of the PHMA and heads of various textile associations.

A short presentation on “KCDR’s role in the Modern Economy” was given by Ms. Azhar followed by a question and answer session where all queries and concerns were effectively addressed by Dr. Sherwani. He also emphasized that PHMA asks members to add the standard mediation clause in all their new contracts so that a dispute is automatically referred for mediation at KCDR rather than going to Courts or settling through arbitration.

On August 18th, 2010 a seminar was organized by the State Bank of Pakistan where Karachi Centre for Dispute Resolution (KCDR) was invited to address some 50 participants from various leading banks of Pakistan on the need of mediation in the banking sector of Pakistan. The Director of KCDR, Dr. Zafar Ahmed Khan Sherwani, Ms. Navin Merchant, Project Manager IFC, Ms. Saima Zuberi, Project Officer IFC and Ms. Maliha Azhar, Corporate Secretary KCDR was representing the ADR Project, KCDR.

Dr. Zafar Sherwani opened the session with his presentation followed by a detailed discussion session where the participants were welcomed to put forward their queries and questions on mediation process.

“The pendency in banking courts in Karachi amounts to 3,570 cases and thus it is the responsibility of each bank to avail mediation to negotiate and further settle non-performing loans,” commented Dr. Zafar Ahmed Khan Sherwani, Director, Karachi Centre for Dispute Resolution.

According to Ms. Navin Salim Merchant, ADR Program Manager, IFC “In most of the countries falling in Middle East and North Africa region, complex and costly contract enforcement processes remain a strong disincentive for investors. Overall, entrepreneurs have limited confidence in the judicial system to resolve their disputes. Lengthy court procedures often cost entrepreneurs more than the amounts they are disputing, considering the financial and human resources involved and the opportunity costs of trapped assets in outstanding disputes over many years.”

The SBP is set to promote ADR mechanisms for the banking sector through policy development to further promote the concept of banking mediation in Pakistan.