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Ex-IGPs view recently passed Police Order as a tool for political interference

Updated May 28, 2019

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Centre has been asked to align the police law with judgements of superior judiciary. — AFP/File
Centre has been asked to align the police law with judgements of superior judiciary. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Former inspectors general of police in Pakistan on Monday expressed their serious reservations over the recently passed Police Order by the Sindh Assembly, saying it was against the Constitution and rulings of the superior judiciary.

They termed it a sinister move of the Sindh government, which may increase political interference in the police.

The Association of Former Inspectors General of Police Pakistan (AFIGP) expressed these apprehensions through a resolution passed in their meeting.

According to the statement, the former IGPs expressed their deep concern and dismay over the “ill-advised attempts” in Sindh “to mutilate” the Police Order 2002, a modern federal law.

They considered the recently passed police law in Sindh as a “flagrant violation” of Article 142 of the Constitution as well as several emphatic judgements of the superior judiciary.

Centre has been asked to align the police law with judgements of superior judiciary

They contended that the Sindh Assembly “cannot introduce any amendment” in Police Order 2002 because like the Criminal Procedure Code, Pakistan Penal Code and Evidence Act, the police law also falls within the purview of Article 142 of the Constitution and the Sindh government could not make drastic changes in it.

“The Sindh government has introduced massive, mala fide amendments in original Police Order 2002 (as it existed on July 13, 2011), almost all of which, under Article 143 of the Constitution are void ab initio,” the statement said.

The former IGPs of the country suggested the federal government to ‘align’ the Police Order 2002 with the latest Supreme Court judgement not to ‘further politicise’ the police, depriving the people of Sindh of a fair, just, independent and accountable police service.

“The AFIGP strongly condemns this sinister move aimed at blatantly violating the fundamental principles of good governance and exacerbating political interference in law enforcement to the detriment of the rights of the people.”

It has been pointed out that the AFIGP was actively engaged in advocating much-needed transformation of Pakistan’s anachronistic colonial policing system leading to a modern, professional, efficient, autonomous, citizen-friendly and accountable police service that upholds the Constitution and the rule of law.

Moreover, the Supreme Court and Sindh High Court and Balochistan High Court in particular in their recent landmark judgements had defined key parameters of “administrative, financial and operational autonomy of police leadership without which it is not possible to achieve such a transformation and enforce fundamental rights of citizens as guaranteed in the Constitution”, they added.

Published in Dawn, May 28th, 2019