PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Wednesday decided to form a ministerial committee to make recommendations for the establishment of independent bodies for the police’s accountability over excesses.

The decision was made in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mahmood Khan here.

Spokesman for the government Kamran Khan Bangash told Dawn that the meeting discussed the draft Inspectorate of Criminal Justice Services Bill, 2021, and KP Independent Police Complaints Authority Bill, 2021, besides an amendment proposed to the Police Act, 2017, for the reporting of the Special Branch to the chief minister.

He said a committee, which comprised him, elementary and secondary education minister Shahram Khan Tarakai and labour minister Shaukat Yousafzai, would make recommendations for the establishment of independent bodies for the police’s accountability and submit report in the next meeting of the cabinet.

CM asks committee to consult police officials on matter

Mr Bangash said the home and law secretaries, advocate general and senior police officials would provide technical assistance to the committee on the matter .

He said the external accountability bodies for police envisaged in the KP Police Act, 2017, couldn’t be established due to legal and other issues.

The spokesman, however, said the current government wanted to form those bodies to keep itself from public embarrassment over the police’s excesses.

He said the cabinet panel would seek the suggestions of all stakeholders regarding the proposed laws before submitting its report to the next meeting of the cabinet.

A statement issued here said the chief minister told the meeting that introducing reforms in government departments and institutions was an important part of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s manifesto.

He said the reform initiative would continue to strengthen institutions in the province and improve their efficiency with the aim to facilitate the people to the optimum level and ensure better service delivery.

The chief minister said large-scale reforms were introduced in the police system during the previous government of the PTI giving unprecedented autonomy to the police, while the current government intended to further improve those reforms.

He said the autonomy of the police would not be compromised.

“Reforms are meant for improving the efficiency of the police by strengthening them,” he said.

The chief minister said reforms would be introduced in other government departments and institutions as well so that their capacity could be enhanced and public service delivery improved to the people’s expectations.

He asked the cabinet committee to consult the police officials before finalising recommendations for the establishment of external accountability bodies and said since the police would implement reforms on ground, consultation such a major stakeholder was very important.

Published in Dawn, March 25th, 2021

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