Roundtable: Depoliticise police, say experts

Suggest transparent recruitment and accountability for improvement .


Our Correspondent January 29, 2015
Discussants said police reforms had been pending since 1947. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Speakers have said that depoliticising the police force is a prerequisite for good governance in the country.

They were speaking at a roundtable discussion on “Police, Politics, and the People of Pakistan” organised by the Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (PILDAT) on Thursday.

Former Sindh IG Dr Shoaib Suddle suggested measures such as fair and transparent recruitment, training, specialised postings and ruthless accountability to improve the police departments.

Suddle believed that the police needed to reinvent themselves in order to enhance their performance. He said efforts to reform the police system had been scuttled throughout the country’s history.

He said there was a need for a national agenda on depoliticisation of the police department.

Former interior secretary Tasneem Noorani said Police Order 2002 has not been fully implemented. He called for a clearly laid out mechanism for promotions, transfers of police high-ups. He said the army was the best because there was no political interference in it.

Noorani said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had introduced some reforms and the IG has been appointed on merit.

Rustam Shah Mohmand, another former interior secretary, said Pakistan had the lowest conviction rate, 3.5 per cent, in the world.

PILDAT also launched two studies: “Police, Politics and the People of Pakistan” by former federal secretary Tariq Khosa, and “Police Governance and Operational Autonomy in England and Wales” by Ian Bracewell, a police liaison officer on counter-terrorism from the UK to Pakistan.

Khosa’s study finds that the police was often criticised because of corruption, inefficiency and politicisation.

There was a disconnect between the public and the police and no substantial reforms have been introduced since 1947.  The research said Police Order 2002 could have introduced meaningful reforms but it was not implemented in letter and spirit.

The research papers and the roundtable discussion were part of a programme that assesses performance of key public institutions.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 30th, 2015.

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