LAHORE – The Punjab government with the cost of Rs 2.5 billions has established world’s second largest forensic science laboratory to counter terrorism and police in investigations of criminal cases, said sources in Punjab Home Department on Tuesday. The laboratory is likely to become operational in April, 2011 at Thokar Niaz Baig and will provide services in 14 forensic disciplines namely toxicology, forensic photography, narcotics, trace chemistry, DNA and serology, crime scene investigation, firearms and tool marks, death scene investigation, questioned documents, computer forensics, latent prints, polygraph, pathology and audiovisual. The project is estimated to cost in excess of Rs 2.5 billions made available from provincial resource, an officer of Finance Department said.
Results of the laboratory would be so solid and confirm that these could not be challenged at any forum of the country including courts and acceptance of results would be recognized at international level also. For hiring qualified executives, managers and scientists for the running of forensic laboratory a two pronged strategy was devised to cope with its human resource requirement. At the first level, 32 young and promising postgraduates were selected after a rigorous competition and made to undergo training at various laboratory and police facilities in Cuyahoga, Ohio USZ in the following disciplines, Audiovisual, Narcotics, Crime Scene Investigation, Pathology, Computer Forensics, Forensic Photography, Death Scene Investigation, Polygraph, DNA & Serology, Question Documents, Fire Arms & Tool Marks, Toxicology, Latent Finger Print, Trace Chemistry. At the second level, international market was explored for hiring suitable executives and managers. As a result, Dr Ashraf Tahir, a PhD forensic scientist, presently working in Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office, Ohio, has been selected to work as Director General on a five years contract.