LAHORE: After Punjab, the Police Order 2002 has also been enforced in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), following the orders of Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Islamabad High Court (IHC), removing the 20-year-old controversies surrounding the bureaucratic hurdles.

Though some salient features of the police order are still under process, it has largely been enforced in the federal capital. However, the magistrates shall continue retaining their powers and police shall work closely for judicial matters as per the CrPC. The police order grants some powers to the inspectorate in transfer/postings and separates the operations and investigation wings of just like Punjab.

The decision was made by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah to bring about a uniform policing system after the PTI announced agitation in the federal capital.

In March, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial had taken up the matter of non-implementation of Police Order 2002 in Islamabad in the National Judicial (Policy Making) Committee ((NJPMC).

An official said the police order was promulgated countrywide for the first time in August 2002 during the regime of Gen Pervez Musharraf to regulate the police under a uniform system. Later, while the other provinces made certain amendments to the laws, Punjab was the only province where the police order was still operational, though partially.

The issue was in the limelight when the superior courts sought reports from the federal government as to why the police order could not be implemented in Islamabad.

The official said in May the then Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Athar Minallah sought explanations from the police, district administration and federal government regarding lack of enforcement of the order.

A couple of months back, the official added, the Law Division informed the Ministry of Interior that the police order had been implemented in Islamabad in 2017 but it was not put into practice due to some reasons. The ICT police conveyed to the ministry some days back that the police order had come into operation.

In an official letter, the assistant inspector general of police ICT told the interior secretary on Dec 8 about implementation of the initiative.

“It is worth mentioning here that Ministry of Law & Justice (Law-I Section) vide O.M. dated 20.09.2022 has also opined that according to the Clause (3) of Article 1 of the Police Order, 2002 the local governments have long assumed office in the Islamabad Capital Territory and therefore, the Police Order, 2002 has come into operation in the Islamabad Capital Territory and a consequence the Police Act, 1861 (V of 1861) stands repealed,” reads the letter whose copy is available with Dawn.

The IG police said the ICT police had taken some initiatives for capacity-building of police, including upgrade of the training school of the ICT Police to capital police college where professional courses for the investigating officers were being run regularly along with specialised training courses for officers. The investigation wing has also been separated from operations as per the police order.

Four special investigation units, i.e. Robbery/Dacoity Unit (RDU), Anti-Vehicle Lifting Unit (AVLU), Intelligence Technical Expert Assistance Unit (ITEAU) and Special Sexual Offence Investigation Unit (SSOIU), have been established.

“As far as establishment of forensic laboratories in Islamabad and appointment of chemical examiner is concerned, same pertains to Ministry of Interior, Islamabad,” the letter says.

The ICT Police moved a request for posting of chemical examiner to the Ministry of Interior under intimation to the National Police Bureau, the letter said.

Published in Dawn, December 12th, 2022

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