Police reforms: Locals laud initiative of women reporting centres

Three centres already set up, more in the offing.

Fazal Khaliq July 23, 2013
In the first phase, reporting centres have been set up at Rahimabad, Mingora and Saidu Sharif police stations. PHOTO: FILE

MINGORA: Residents of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) have appreciated the provincial government’s decision to establish Women Police Reporting Centers (WPRC) in all police stations across K-P, terming it a positive step towards women empowerment.

In the first phase, reporting centres have been set up at Rahimabad, Mingora and Saidu Sharif police stations. A centre has also been established in the casualty ward of Saidu Teaching Hospital. A press release issued by the office of Swat’s District Police Officer (DPO) on Monday stated these centres have become operational and highly educated female staff has been recruited for the purpose.

“At these centers, women will register complaints and immediate legal action will be taken against culprits to resolve issues faced by females in a timely manner,” said DPO Swat in the press release. WPRCs are also being established in other police stations in Swat, he added.

Women from all backgrounds in Swat are most enthusiastic about the development. “In male dominated societies, women were not allowed to demand and fight for their rights and they are always ignored even regarding their personal problems. Establishment of the WPRCs in police stations is highly appreciable,” said Zaitoon, a women rights activist in Mingora.

The centres are most needed in rural parts of Swat. “Though WPRC is a good move, there is a need of such facilities in Kabal, Matta, Khwazakhela and in the upper belt. The same facility should be extended to every public place where male police is stationed,” said Gul Nar, a resident of Matta.

“Police reforms are much needed in our country as the same system has been in place since we gained independence, while the rest of the world has scientifically transformed their policing systems,” Nar added. “More and more women must be recruited in the police force as more than half of our population is female.”

MPA Nadia Sher Khan said women constitute 51% of Pakistan’s population and play a very important role in society. “Women development and education is our priority as we believe educating one woman is like educating and empowering a whole generation. Establishing these reporting centres is an important step,” she added.

DPO Swat said his office is open for everyone and people can come in anytime to report their issues, adding the WPRC is a step taken by the K-P government to reform the police force.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2013.

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