Amending police order: Government mulls changes in police hierarchy

Three subcommittees formed to propose amendments to Police Order, 2002

Rameez Khan January 13, 2017

LAHORE: Major changes are expected in the Punjab police hierarchy as the provincial government wants to change the title of certain posts and introduce a revised administrative system for the force.

A government official told The Express Tribune that changing titles such as district police officer, regional police officer, capital city police and sub divisional police officer were under consideration at a recent meeting held to discuss police reforms.

A cabinet committee, formed by the Punjab chief minister to prepare amendments to the Police Order, 2002, held its first meeting at the Civil Secretariat on Thursday and discussed different proposals to improve the workings of the provincial police.

The committee, headed by Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, created three subcommittees and gave them a week’s time to draft their proposals. These would be finalised by the cabinet committee and sent to the chief minister.

The source, however, said the government did not want to revamp the police system, but iron out the kinks. The much-touted Public Safety and Police Complaint Commission and Police Complaint Authority are already a part of the Police Order 2002. They never were enforced, he claimed, adding the government wanted these two authorities to function across the province.

Other than that, the official confirmed the government wanted to change the titles of police posts.

He said if an Additional IG was posted in a position similar to the current capital city police officer, he should be called Additional IG Lahore instead of CCPO, Giving another example, he said there would be a Sheikhupura district SSP or additional IG instead of a DPO for the region. The official said the government also wanted to reduce the number of police officers holding administrative posts.

He said authorities wanted more officers in the field and a minimal number occupying administrative posts.

According to Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah, a subcommittee was formed under Chief Minister’s Adviser Rana Maqbool Ahmad and it will review matters related to the safety commission and police complaint authorities.

He said a second subcommittee was formed under the Inspector General of Police to propose amendments to the internal workings of the force. He said the third committee was formed under the prosecution secretary to propose improvements to the investigation procedure.

The official continued authorities wanted democratic oversight on the police through the complaint authority and safety commissions.

He stated that based on the request of the police, the force was not given under the District Management Group in the new Civil Administration Ordinance 2016. “However, that does not mean they will be left unchecked,” he added. The government officer said all these amendments would bring an improvement to the workings of the provincial police.

The Punjab government formed a committee, headed by Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah Khan, and it was given three weeks to review the police order and send recommendations to the chief minister for final approval.

The committee comprised Punjab Chief Minister’s Adviser Rana Maqbool Ahmad, Minister for Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism Jehangir Khanzada, former Punjab advocate general Mustafa Ramday, Punjab inspector general of police as well as the home, public prosecution and law secretaries.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2017.

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