Police Reforms

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Current situation

Policing refers to a function of governance responsible for the prevention, detection and investigation of crime; protection of persons and property; and the maintenance of public order and safety. The issues of policing in Pakistan are quite complex as there are many factors that impact the police system which largely includes political influence as political parties often use it as their tool to victimize the common citizens.  There is a disconnect between the public and police. The disconnect is because of the police’s use of force and other coercive measures. The force may be used during the interrogations, raids on hideouts and police check points. Another reason of disconnect is the insensitivity shown to the citizens by police officers in times of distress. The police in Pakistan do not properly manage things, this includes poor management of records and evidences.

Pakistan is also severely threatened by terrorism with innocent civilians and the police increasingly being targeted. This also poses a challenge to police force. Pakistan’s law enforcement structure has failed to develop any systematic and advanced counterterrorism strategy owing to the lack of modern investigative tools and skills. For the same reasons, the rate of crimes not associated with terrorism has also jumped in recent years. Law-and-order duties and VIP protection responsibilities consume a significant chunk of police resources. The lack of forensic support further diminishes police effectiveness and capacity to deliver. An additional obstacle is the incompetent judicial sector. Thus, Pakistan is in immediate need of the police reforms.

Promises

1. We will enforce depoliticization of police by building upon KP’s successful police reform model, which will be replicated nationally.

2. Make public outreach to police easier through new and enhanced policing apps, SMS systems, online FIRs and call centres.

3. Establish Women police stations and desks at all levels to facilitate women empowerment.

4. We will depoliticise Karachi’s police service and implement a merit-based professional system to improve management.

5.  Police system will be reformed. IG Nasir Durrani of KPK will be given advisory in Punjab to reform Punjab police.

6.We will begin crack-down on land & bhatta mafias.

Progress

Police system will be reformed. IG Nasir Durrani of KPK will be given advisory in Punjab to reform Punjab police.

31 August 2018

The Punjab government decided to form the Police Reform Commission under Nasir Khan Durrani, the former Inspector General of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police and the member of the Punjab Public Service Commission. The commission has been tasked with recommending measures to transform the highly politicized Punjab police into a neutral, professional police. Mr. Durrani played a key role in reforming KP police and declined many political offers.

Tahir Dhindsa, Senior Analyst and Journalist, talks about the reforms in the police department by the PTI government.

17 September 2018

The Punjab government constituted a Commission on Police Reforms and Implementation, headed by Nasir Durrani. The commission was formed to rid Punjab police of political interference, grant autonomy to the Central Police Office (CPO) and introduce various other reforms. The chairman and members would not be taking any salary or perks but performing their duties free of cost. It will submit the recommendation to the chief minister.

19 September 2018

Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Syed Kaleem Imam formed a committee to make a draft of proposals to reform Sindh police system. He also ordered the police officers to prepare recommendations to introduce alternate dispute resolution mechanism in the Sindh police following the model set by Islamabad and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa police. The IGP ordered the  installation of bio-metric entry system at the Central Police Office CPO within 10 days.

Police system will be reformed. We will enforce depoliticization of police by building upon KP’s successful police reform model, which will be replicated nationally.

29 October 2018

Inspector General of Police Dr Syed Kaleem Imam called for taking immediate steps for implementation of proposed police reforms, including devising a mechanism for redressing grievances of the people. The proposed reforms call for enhancement of capacity of Investigation Offers (IO). Mr. Kaleem ordered to introduce an accountability system for police to keep a check on misuse of power and corrupt practices. He further ordered to carry out free registration of cases.

13 November 2018

In order to ensure speedy justice, special SOPs (standard operating procedures) have been issued by Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Amjad Javed Saleemi, the implementation of which will be ensured by the RPOs and DPOs across Punjab. According to the SOPs, the investigation officer will be responsible for the collection of evidence from the crime scene and also the preparation of a detailed report in this regard. The investigation of all registered cases will be completed without unnecessary delay whereas the investigation officers will also ensure submission of challans within a period of 14 days at any cost.

14 January 2019

Chief Justice Saqib Nisar launched Police Reforms Committee Report titled Police Reforms – A Way Forward. Major recommendations were given in the report to reform the police system which includes establishment of complaint redress mechanisms. The report recommended improving quality of investigation by establishment of state-of-the-art training institutes and better forensic support. The report suggests an efficient Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism to reduce the burden on courts. The committee recommended that important amendments be made in the police related laws like the Criminal Procedure Code and Qanoon-e-Shahadat Ordinance. Further it said that lawmaking be linked with budget making so that when laws are formed their implementation does not fall prey to paucity of resources.

24 January 2019

In the wake of Sahiwal incident of police brutality, PM Imran Khan chaired a high-level meeting to devise a comprehensive strategy to introduce reforms in the Punjab police department so that such incidents are not repeated. The PM focused on capacity building of the police force, purging it of corruption and depoliticizing it. The chief secretaries of Punjab and KP, Yousuf Naseem Khokhar and Naveed Kamran, have been appointed as members of the committee.

10 February 2019

To address the deficiencies in the current criminal justice system in the context of police laws, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Asif Saeed Khan Khosa constituted a police reforms committee with the mandate to examine the laws and to suggest recommendations. Chief Justice Khosa, is also the chairman of Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (LJCP). He emphasized on the training of investigation officers and prosecutors.

21 March 2019

National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC) has withdrawn judicial officers’ powers of issuing orders to police for registration of FIRs. This decision is welcomed by police officials.

Make public outreach to police easier through new and enhanced policing apps, SMS systems, online FIRs and call centres.

28 December 2018

Inspector General of Police Amjad Javed Saleemi informed that Police Khidmat Counters have become functional at district headquarters hospitals of Punjab to facilitate citizens and police employees. The scheme is also to launch in tehsils. The counters help people get character certificates, FIR report copy, registration of tenants, general police verification, issue of learner driving license, employee verification, vehicles verification, crime reports and women violence reports.

29 December 2018

To remove the disconnect between the police and citizens and make the police more approachable, the police has begun holding open courts in mosques. The first open court was organized by Superintendent of Police (SP) Potohar division Javaid Anwar in a mosque in Wahdat Colony near the Taxila police station.

3 February 2019

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police introduced an SMS-based system to facilitate complainants of heinous crimes. It is called Raabta system and will facilitate the tracing of progress in cases and allow complainants to remain in contact with the Investigation Officer (IO). After the filing of FIR, the complainant will receive a text message containing the serial number of the FIR, the sections of law that it has been lodged under, and the name and contact number of the IO. The IO will also get the details via SMS. Further, senior police officials, senior superintendents of police and deputy superintendents of police, will also receive the case details. It is to make public outreach to police easier.

12 February 2019

The Police Complaint Redressal System was inaugurated at G-8/4 Rescue 15 Office, Islamabad. It was inaugurated by Inspector General of Police Islamabad, Zulfiqar Khan. The system is computerized, and it is to redress the citizens’ grievances on priority bases. The complaints will be received round the clock base. There will be auto generated SMS sent to the complainant and the complainant will also receive the call from Police Sub Divisional Officer. This system will also serve as accountability of police as the complaints shall be analyzed and reviewed on monthly bases.

5 March 2019

The Sindh government formed a sub-committee for re-structuring and institutional reforms on police under the government of Sindh’s ‘Task Force Reforms and Civil Reforms (TFRCR). The Terms of Reference (ToRs) of the sub-committee, according to the official documents, would review existing institutional structure and identify its weaknesses, its size and requirements, recommend specific departmental re-structuring.

22 March 2019

The Police Complaints Redressal mechanism has been enforced all over Punjab. According to it, the deadline for the registration of first information report (FIR) is seven days. For this purpose, Inspector General of Punjab Police Amjad Javed Saleemi has appointed district complaint officers (DCOs) at all the districts to hear complaints of citizens for registration of FIRs. It is to give priority to the redressal of public complaints against the police as there are lots of cases about police abuse and negligence.

Law and Justice Commission set up a Police Reforms Committee in Karachi to recommend the ways on police reforms. It was decided that we should have a system whereby public complaints against the police should be dealt with in every district by specially selected officers of integrity, of the rank of SP/DSP, who would have no other responsibility except dealing with public complaints.

Balochistan’s Inspector General of Police Mohsin Hassan Butt said that the Police Reforms Committee has given highest priority to addressing public complaints against police. It is reduce the number of people who after approaching the police with complaints had to approach the courts to get relief (Dawn, 22 March 2019).