LAHORE: The Association of Former Inspectors General of Police (AFIGP) passed a resolution against the recent reforms for the police department and voiced concern over what they called were the retrograde moves by the bureaucracy to promote their hegemonic agenda.

“We, the Executive Committee of AFIGP -- Mr Iftikhar Rashid, president; Mr Shahid Nadim Baloch, vice president; and executive members Mr Afzal Ali Shigri, Mr Masud Shah, Dr Shoaib Suddle and Mr Saud Gohar, met on Sept 28 and unanimously made the resolution,” reads the document pertaining to the AFIGP meeting.

It stated that the prime minister had set up a five-member committee in January comprising the interior secretary, and chief secretaries and inspectors general of police (IGP) of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to make specific recommendations on replicating the KP Police Act 2017 in Punjab. The committee only held a couple of routine meetings in January and February and the Punjab IGP made a presentation to the prime minister on Sept 2.

The PM approved the recommendations concerning setting up of independent police complaint authorities (as provided under Police Order 2002) to provide a fair, credible and effective complaint redressal mechanism to the aggrieved citizens; and the dispute resolution councils, as provided under the KP Police Act 2017.

The AFIGP noted with grave concern that the interior secretary recently made a presentation to the PM on police reforms and empowering, particularly, the office of the deputy commissioner, without seeking any input whatsoever from the police members of the committee – the two IGPs.

It declared that the presentation was tantamount to serious misconduct as it was neither in consonance with the mandate of the committee nor had it been discussed with the relevant committee members.

“These self-propelled recommendations were aimed principally at further entrenching and glorifying a particular set of bureaucrats under the guise of improving service delivery and accountability of public officials through the colonial legacy of commissioners/deputy commissioners, and were, more alarmingly, in derogation of well-researched report of Police Reforms Committee set up in 2018 by the chief justice of Pakistan (CJP),” it declared.

Even the progress of implementation of this report is regularly being reviewed and monitored by the CJP himself. The committee consists of several retired IGPs and all serving IGPs in Pakistan, it said.

A furore has been created across the civil society and the Police Service of Pakistan since the “motivated and self-centric” recommendations made by the interior secretary surfaced in the media.

“Now, therefore, the AFIGP, through this unanimous resolution, while strongly condemning such outrageous and crude attempts to sabotage the agenda and vision of the PM on reforming the police, has resolved to request the PM, who is strongly and passionately committed to genuine police reforms in Pakistan, that heads need to roll both for acting in furtherance of personal and service interests and deliberately overstepping the mandate given by the prime minister,” the AFIGP noted.

What they have come up with is nothing but a recipe for disaster. “Didn’t the PTI win thumbs up in the KP for the second time without the support of self-professed so-called one-window troubleshooters?” the AFIGP questioned.

With a view to avoid such underhand attempts in future, the AFIGP urged the prime minister that no police reforms proposed by individuals with vested interests be approved without obtaining the views of relevant stakeholders, particularly the former IGPs, who not only knew what the international good practice is but also have a lifetime policing experience, the resolution stated.

Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2019

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