Karachi March 14, 2012 (PR): KARACHI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & INDUSTRY (KCCI) President, Mian Abrar Ahmad in a joint seminar organized by KCCI & KCDR and MoU signing ceremony urged the Government to do legislation and declare mediation mandatory before proceeding to courts. A Memorandum of Association between Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and Karachi Centre for Dispute Resolution (KCDR) was renewed and signed at KCCI on this occasion. President KCCI in his welcome address stated that to facilitate the members and the business and industrial community of Karachi , KCCI joined hands with KCDR to provide them an opportunity to resolve their disputes with their counterparts in Karachi , Pakistan and abroad. He said that mediation is mandatory in the western countries before proceeding to courts and had gaining popularity. At present in Pakistan mediation is a voluntary option to resolve the disputes and the Government should declared it mandatory through legislation. Investment and economic growth is often hampered by business and commercial disputes which take long time to settle in courts due to huge case backlogging in the existing judicial system, he articulated. He appreciated the services rendered to the business community by the KCDR under the Presidentship of Justice (Retd) Saiduzzaman Siddiqui. He opined that the mediation for trade disputes through KCDR would not only settle the disputes in cost effective manner without delay but it would alongside develop better relationship and mental satisfaction among the parties. He also appreciated the role and initiative of IFC/World Bank Group in institutionalizing mediation for the business community, especially the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s). He highlighted that the KCCI members and business community may approach directly KCDR or through KCCI’s helpdesk to resolve their business dispute vis-à-vis financial & loan disputes with banks & financial association, grievances with utilities companies etc. He hoped that KCCI-KCDR would bring sigh of relief to the members of KCCI and the business and industrial community for resolving their disputes without delay on reasonable cost. He also focused on increasing regional trade for the socio-economic uplift of Pakistan and urged President KCDR Justice (Retd) Saiduzzaman Siddiqui to devise a mechanism to work closely with the important organization of friendly and regional countries as the business community is facing tremendous problems and impediments to resolve their business disputes with their international counterparts.

Exchanging views on the KCCI-KCDR MoU signing ceremony, Justice (Retd) Saiduzzaman Siddiqui, President & Chairman, Board of Governors of KCDR and former Chief Justice of Pakistan appreciated the efforts of stakeholders and partner organization like KCCI in promoting the use of mediation for resolution of disputes. He informed that apart from mediation & training services, KCDR was also offering its services in field of Arbitration. He disclosed that about million of cases were pending with different courts in Pakistan and to reduce the pendency of cases in the country, mediation would help the existing courts as done in the developed countries. The National Judicial Policy was supportive of the use of ADR and mediation for resolution of disputes. It was expected that with support of stakeholders, ADR and mediation can lead to resolution of disputes in timely manner and with less cost, he added. He expressed that over 1500 cases have been referred in over three years, which illustrates KCDR’s significance as a dispute resolution centre.

Dr. Zafar Ahmad Khan Sherwani, Director Karachi Centre for Dispute Resolution (KCDR), highlighted IFC Pakistan’s role in institutionalizing ADR/Mediation in Karachi , the successful setting up of KCDR in 2007. He emphasised various benefits of mediation such as inexpensive costs, speedy resolution time as well as a win-win solution were brought forward. He also gave a presentation highlighting the benefits of alternate routes to resolving disputes in particular mediation and how entrepreneurs and the business community could profit from it. He informed that mediation process was client-centred and success ratio of mediation cases was 70% wherein the legal rights of the parties remain intact.