Islamabad, January 14, 2019 (PPI-OT): The Police Reforms constitute an integral part of the Criminal Justice Sector Reforms. Since independence, about two dozen reform initiatives have been undertaken however, the desired results could not be achieved. The Hon’ble Mr. Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Chief Justice of Pakistan/ Chairman Law and Justice Commission Pakistan (LJCP) constituted a Police Reforms Committee (PRC) on 15-05-2018 consisting of serving and former Inspector General of Police for formulating recommendations for Police Reforms.
A Steering Committee headed by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Senior Puisne Judge Supreme Court of Pakistan designated Chief Justice of Pakistan worked on implementation of the recommendations.
Today i.e. 14th January 2019 a launching ceremony of the PRC recommendations was organized by the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan in the Auditorium of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, Islamabad and in which the aforementioned report was presented to the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan who graced the occasion as chief guest. Since, matter related to the legislative reforms including police related reforms is sub-judice before the apex court therefore, the recommendations regarding the same were not launched however, recommendations regarding complaint redressal mechanism, Improving Quality of Investigation, urban policing and alternate dispute mechanism were launched/presented to the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan.
The said ceremony was participated by the Hon’ble serving and retired Judges of the Supreme court of Pakistan, Hon’ble Chief Justices of the High Courts, Federal and State Ministers , Chairmen Parliamentary Committees on Law and Interior, Federal and Provincial Secretaries, Members of Parliament, Inspector General of Police, Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Islamabad Capital Territory, Excellencies the Ambassadors and High Commissioners, Members of Legal Fraternity, Academia, Federal and Provincial Police Officers, Representatives of INGOs/ NGOs, International Development Partners, Media persons etc.
In his introductory remarks of Dr. Muhammad Raheem Awan, Secretary LJCP stated that the LJCP Secretariat is assisting the Hon’ble supreme Court of Pakistan in many public interest cases and similarly by virtue of directions of Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan it provided support to the Police Reform Committee with the ultimate aim of the creation of an efficient and professional police force to meet the security, law and order related challenges in the country. He stated that the police is the most important part of the criminal justice system and it is the responsibility of the Government to increase its responsiveness and professionalism in the police force. He also thanked Hon’ble Mr. Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, designated Chief Justice of Pakistan, for benefiting the Committee with his guidance. He also thanked the members of the Police Reforms Committee for their tireless efforts.
The convener of Police Reforms Committee Mr. Afzal Ali Shigri, Former IGP, Sindh stated that the performance of Police is directly linked to the delivery of justice and performance of judiciary and criminal justice system. He stated that in the past number of efforts have taken place to improve the performance of criminal justice system, however, the present initiative is distinct as being initiated by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
He further stated that the after the formation of Police Reforms Committee intensive deliberations and discussion took place within the Committee and the Report has been prepared containing feasible and practical proposals on matters like redressal of grievances and improving quality of investigation etc.
Mr. Tariq Pervez, Former DG, FIA stressed upon professionally competent, highly accountable and operationally autonomous police. He stressed upon effective public complaints redressal system essential for police reform. The redressal system will have two tiers at the provincial level. The complaints would be heard by Additional IGs / DIGs and the district level by the SPs / DSPs. He stated that the investigation branch in police should be organized as separate unit, best officers be posted in the investigation and making this experience mandatory for promotions. The cost of investigation be enhanced and forensic support be provided to investigation teams. He stressed upon the need for Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) system to lessen the burden on courts.
Moreover, he stressed the Provincial Justice Committees (PJCs) may be made functional Dr. Syed Kaleem Imam, Inspector General of Police, Sindh stated that the Sindh Police has developed the complaint redressal mechanism up to district level. He further stated that the Sindh Police has revamped Karachi Police Investigation by posting good officers, investigation setups at town level have been enhanced and creation of post of Additional IGP investigation. Moreover, 200 inspectors for investigation, 170 inspectors for law and 30 PDSPs with a career growth plan and TORs have been recruited. Moreover, the cost of investigation has been increased and the curriculum models for forensic investigation have been developed.
The Hon’ble Mr. Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Chief Justice of Pakistan/ Chairman LJCP in his address emphasized on the rule of law and on importance of an efficient criminal justice system in a society. He further stated that the police have a crucial role in protecting the right to a fair trial and in the prevention and investigation of the crimes. He stated that an effective police force is one that is assisted by the community they serve as they are confident that justice will be done.
He stressed that the existing criminal justice system urgently requires reform as a whole. Moreover, specially, updation of the law for police governance and management is required to ensure a neutral, responsive, accountable and transparent police force. He stressed that the police force can only function efficiently when they are given administrative, operational and financial autonomy. He further stated that the Police Reforms Committee was established with the objective of an independent and impartial police force and their recommendations are very useful which outlines the duties of police officers, the separation of investigation procedures and composition of the Commission to promote transparency.
He stated that by implementation of these recommendations, the trust deficit between the police and public would decrease and would create a competent, efficient and responsive police force. The Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan applauded the efforts and contribution of the Members of the PRC who worked day and night to complete the Report. In his concluding remarks, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of Pakistan stressed upon the need to de-politicised the police to develop public confidence in the system.
He also stressed that there is need to pinpoint lacunae in investigation resulting in the acquittal of criminals. Dr. Shoaib Suddle Former IG Police presented the vote of thanks and emphasized the improvement of policing in the country and active engagements of the governments in the updation and modernization of Police Laws. This press release can also be downloaded from the website of Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan (www.ljcp.gov.pk).
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