Ex-bureaucrats take exception to criticism of police reforms

Updated 07 Oct 2019

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Senior police officers had said said they would prefer leaving their services rather than allowing the bureaucracy to take over the police department. — Reuters/File
Senior police officers had said said they would prefer leaving their services rather than allowing the bureaucracy to take over the police department. — Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: A tug of war has erupted between officers of the Pakistan Administrative Services (PAS) and the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) over police reforms.

A committee of retired chief secretaries at a meeting held on Saturday discussed the situation emerging from the development regarding police reforms, said a statement issued by the committee.

The meeting took exception to criticism by some retired police officers against the civil servants in the media.

"It is highly undesirable and unsavoury to pit one occupational group against the other in a bid to thwart the policy process meant to address some serious issues of peace and order."

Addressing issues of public importance through the process of public policy formulation is the prerogative of the government. The civil servants are required to contribute to the process through their professional expertise and experience.

Their input is further scrutinised by higher offices which overview the entire process. Targeting civil servants for any such intervention of the government is highly deplorable.

The Police Order 2002 was promulgated by the government and amendments to it are also incorporated by the government from time to time. Neither any civil servant could dishonestly add any content suiting their service interests nor could any senior echelon of the government allow anyone to make any such attempt.

Voids existing with regard to the accountability mechanism in the system of policing ought to be addressed without any delay as they spring from public concerns. Public servants, of any cadre, under no circumstances should act as a pressure group as they are required to discharge their assigned duties efficiently under the Civil Servants Act and protect public interest, not their personal or group interests.

Last month, senior police officers in Punjab at a meeting reacted to the new police reforms and threatened that they would resign. They said they would prefer leaving their services rather than allowing the bureaucracy to take over the police department.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2019