Police system has become irrelevant

Published Aug 03, 2012 02:43am

THE public, politicians, bureaucracy and the judiciary are not happy with the performance of our police. There are many reasons for this state of affairs: historical, political, social, organisational, etc.

Many critics lay the blame on the departmental hierarchy for police ineffectiveness in controlling crime, while others put the blame on politicians who abuse the police for their own political and personal ends. This blame game, however, leads nowhere.

After independence many commissions and committees were appointed by well-meaning governments for police reforms. The last serious initiative was taken by Pervez Musharraf who tasked Lt - Gen (Rtd) Naqvi, Chairman of the National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB), to draft a new police law. Mr Naqvi, with intellectual input from selected senior police officers, prepared the Police Order 2002 to give an accountable and operationally independent police to the country.

This law was not accepted by the powerful provincial bureaucracy, who wanted to keep the police under their thumb, mostly for ceremonial purposes.

In the service also some officers did not accept the law wholeheartedly because they were trained and groomed to work with the magistracy in dealing with public disorder situations.

On top of it, amendments introduced by the Musharraf government under pressure from interested quarters made the Police Order toothless in the domain of accountability.

Although the Police Order 2002 led to expansion and promotions in the department, it did not produce the desired results for the public.

Now the Punjab bureaucracy wants to bring in a new police order. Other provinces will follow Punjab. According to Dr A.H.

Nadeem, the proposed law will bring the police under complete bureaucratic control and the public will again be left high and dry.

For the provincial bureaucracy, controlling the police is more important than crime control and peace.

Today the police are facing unique challenges: the present policing system is not geared toward coping with terrorism and extremism. As a matter of fact, the bureaucratic system, including the police, inherited from the colonial rulers, has become irrelevant, corrupt and inefficient.

Under these circumstances there is a dire need for police reforms. Administrative reforms should take place through debates, discussions and research at public forums, think-tanks, media and assemblies.

All stakeholders, including the judiciary, should be taken on board in order to bring about police reforms. The nation needs an efficient, effective, accountable and operationally independent police.

ASGHAR MAHMOOD PSP (Retd) Islamabad


Do you have information you wish to share with Dawn.com? You can email our News Desk to share news tips, reports and general feedback. You can also email the Blog Desk if you have an opinion or narrative to share, or reach out to the Special Projects Desk to send us your Photos, or Videos.

More From This Section

Al Qaeda in S. Asia

Al Qaeda is on the backfoot, and is hard pressed to prove its relevance in a changing world with the spectacular ...

Revolution no solution

IN the present political situation, every person wants a revolution of some sort in the country. It almost seems ...

Attack on PTV

This refers to the letter on the above issue (Sept 14).I would not like to comment whether the attack on PTV was...

Comments (1) (Closed)


ABlitzer
Aug 03, 2012 10:56am
The politicians and the bureaucracy will always try their utmost to defeat the purpose of any police reforms that challenge their authority or threaten to make the police operationally independent. Take any government department in Pakistan and it is a microcosm of everything that's wrong with this country -- bribes, nepotism, influential recommendations, dishonesty, inefficiency, zero work ethic, complete disregard for the law/rules and regulations aptly describes the inner working of this country and almost every state-run department.