On an auspicious morning of August, when a cool breeze from Sadpara Lake was blowing, a girl was born to the home of Muhammad Saleem Thakur, a police officer. Being the second among her siblings she not only helped her mother, who was a teacher, in household affairs, but also worked hard in getting an education with flying colours. The Baltistan region is one of the most beautiful regions in the world. It is famous for its beautiful lush green valleys, lakes, glaciers and has the world’s second highest peak, ie K2. Sadly, the region is underdeveloped with dilapidated roads and infrastructure, and also lacks basic amenities.In search of higher education and other allied facilities, most of the students migrate to the other big cities of Pakistan especially, Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi. Maryam did the same and took admission at International Islamic University, Islamabad, in LLB. After securing the degree, she briefly practised in the District Court Islamabad.She could not find a respectable and safe place in the chauvinist environment of the court, especially the lawyers’ community and thus decided to prepare for the judiciary exam instead of practicing law in the courts. Fortunately, she was selected as Civil Judge cum Judicial Magistrate in 2015 through Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC) and became the first female judge of the Baltistan region. Since the last three years, she has been serving in Roundup, which one of the most backwards tehsils of the region.Maryam is against frequent strikes and frivolous adjournments, and calls them a major hurdle for speedy trials and justiceSince she was posted to the area, she has been busy day and night to ensure justice is delivered at the grassroot level. She does not hold case proceedings for long periods, and disposes cases within the minimum possible time. She is known for her unprejudiced, prompt decisions, unintimidated demeanour, and strictness in upholding decorum of the court. Distressed by the uninformed environment, she is of the view that the lawyer community is not well versed with the law and it is because of the futile teaching methods and examination system, and due to mushroom growth of affiliated colleges, which only prioritise making money.She says that a law student should seek education through case study methods instead of rote learning and must have an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approach towards legal education. She suggests that Bar Councils should take merit-based exams before issuing licences to the lawyers.Maryam is against the frequent strikes and frivolous adjournments, and calls them a major hurdle for speedy trials and justice. She is worried by the swiftly increasing crime ratio, which is mainly due to unemployment, petty scuffles, illiteracy, and absence of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods.In her view, the ADR system is more efficient and efficacious mode to resolve the disputes as compared to regular litigation. She also suggests that judiciary must be acquainted with and should enhance the use of IT and forensic science. She is of the view that there is grave lack of research in the judicial system, increasing crime rate and prosecution system due to least coordination with the academia.In the future, Maryam hopes to continue on the path of justice that she began at the start of her career. With change-makers like her in the mix, we can start to hope for the silver linings that didn’t exist before.The writer is a freelance columnistPublished in Daily Times, July 29th 2018.