LAHORE: In pursuant to the prime minister’s directions, the Punjab government has constituted a high-powered committee, Commission on Police Reforms and Implementation, with the prime purpose of steering Punjab police out of political interference.

Former inspector general of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police, Nasir Khan Durrani, was appointed chairman of the commission, who took charge of office on Monday.

The commission was formed to rid Punjab police of political interference, grant autonomy to the Central Police Office and introduce various other reforms.

The Punjab police remained the focus of Prime Minister Imran Khan during his numerous public speeches and party meetings.

The notification of the commission reads: “In pursuant to the prime minister’s vision for police reforms, for devising and recommending ways and means to provide a police force that is politically neutral, operationally autonomous, accountable and oriented towards professionalism, specialised improved service delivery and enhanced community engagement, in line with the international best practice, the Punjab government is pleased to constitute the ‘Commission on Police Reforms and Implementation’.”

Headed by KP ex-IG, commission to rid Punjab police of political interference

A copy of the two-page notification is available with Dawn. One of the distinguishing factors about the commission is that its chairman and members would not be taking any salary or perks but performing their duties pro bono.

“The chairman and other co-opted members shall not be entitled to any remuneration/benefits for performance of their functions and duties with the Commission,” the notification states.

It says that the commission will consist of a chairman, who may co-opt or associate any officer he deems appropriate for performance of functions of the commission.

“The Commission shall have a Secretariat manned by such officers of the government as are required by the Chairman but in consultation with the heads of the departments where these officers are serving, provided that the serving government officers when working with the Secretariat, shall perform their duties with the Commission in addition to their duties with their departments,” the notification reads.

About the objectives of the commission, the notification states that it would identify and recommend to the chief minister legislative, regulatory, structural, administrative, capacity building and community engagement measures as and when necessary for achieving the desired goals.

“It shall submit recommendations to the chief minister, from time to time, for issuance of directives to the police and other departments for its implementation,” it added.

The commission would also formulate and recommend strategies to the IGP for implementation of measures it would recommend. It would arrange impact assessment studies about the reform initiatives, keeping the CM informed about its findings. The purpose of the commission would also be to develop and recommend a ‘model police law’ to the government.

The heads of all provincial departments, including all police officers and other stakeholders, would assist the commission, provide information and record as required and attend its secretariat for consultation and discussion with the chairman.

The term of the commission will be 12 months unless extended by the Punjab government.

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2018

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