PM chairs meeting to introduce police reforms

Imran says K-P police culture ‘inspiration for other provinces’

Our Correspondent January 24, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Four days after the CTD’s botched operation in Sahiwal in which three people of a family and their friend were killed, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to devise a comprehensive strategy to introduce reforms in the Punjab police department so that such incidents are not repeated.

In the session, it was discussed that police officers would be trained as per the latest rules. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar briefed the meeting about the steps the provincial government was taking after the Sahiwal killings.

Prime Minister Imran said that in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, major changes were made in police culture and now “they are an inspiration for other provinces”.
JIT holds CTD responsible for ‘innocent’ family’s killing in Sahiwal ‘operation’

Earlier today, the opposition expressed dissatisfaction over the briefing given in the Punjab Assembly on the Sahiwal killings, demanding formation of a judicial commission to further probe into the incident which claimed lives of four citizens.

Punjab Additional Chief Secretary Fazeel Asghar also presented the evidence of late Zeeshan’s affiliation with terror groups before the provincial lawmakers in an in-camera briefing.

Following the incident, PM Imran had said that Punjab police would be reformed so that such incidents do not happen in the future.

On January 19, four people — including three members of a family — were killed in an alleged encounter in Sahiwal. The Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) personnel said they had killed a local commander of militant organisation Da’esh and three others in the operation.

Eyewitnesses, however, disputed the claim and said the people in the car did not fire at the officials, nor were any explosives recovered from the vehicle.

Separately, according to sources, the government of Pakistan has decided to relax the visa requirements. “In the first phase, citizens of 97 countries will be given relaxation,” said the sources.

The decision was made in a meeting chaired by PM at the PM office, they added.

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The meeting was attended by army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry, Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi and other high officials. According to sources, various categories would be made for ease in obtaining the visa, including visa-on-arrival and duration of the visa.

The PM has instructed ministries of interior and exterior to complete the work on emergency basis. All the institutions have to make coordinated efforts to ease the process of obtaining visas.

The PM said he wanted to make Pakistan an open country. “Visa will be made easy for businesspersons and tourists from across the world,” the sources quoted the PM as saying.

“The PM has issued directions for making the process of obtaining visas easy for the stability of the economy,” said the sources, adding that the ministries of interior and foreign affairs would prepare the Standard Operating Procedures.

The PM said Pakistan could earn billions of dollars through tourism but the visa would have to be made easy, advising all the institutions and ministries to work for it.

The PM has urged all security agencies and relevant ministries to complete the work for visa issuance in minimum possible time.



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