Police Reforms in KPK: On January 24 2017 Kyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly passed K-Police Act, making the day a historic one in the history of Pakistan as it was the first ever political legislation particular to police in the country. It all happened because of the provincial government’s commitment to introduce such reforms in the police department as to make it operationally autonomous, democratically controlled, and most of all politically neutral.
Police Reforms in KPK during PTI Tenure
This Act shows the genuine political will of the ruling party Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) and the high-ups within the police department who willing offered themselves for accountability mechanisms by laws both internally specific to police and those applicable at district and provincial levels. Thus, with this collective willingness of the police as a pillar of the state and the provincial government this historic act was possible to be passed and enacted.
Kyber Pakhtunkhwa Police Act, 2017
KPK inspector General of Police (IGP) Nasir Durrani said about the Police Act that:
“The new law will improve the performance of the force as it will end political interference.”
Under the law, IGP informed, the police force had not just been given more autonomous powers but with it made more accountable for whatever goes inside it.
The responsibility of making them accountable is given to elected institutions at provincial and district levels.
“Public safety commissions comprised of elected representatives at the district and provincial level will hold at least two meetings per year to check on the performance of the force in their respective areas.”
Said IGP Durrani.
The power to appoint their own senior officers is disentangled from the political process and given fully to the force itself. Previously, IGP when appointing senior officers had to consult the chief minister, however, with this act this particular condition is taken away.
In a nutshell, Police Reforms in KPK mainly include Operationally autonomous, Democratically controlled & Politically neutral
This is done in the light of the argument that since the responsibility to maintain order and law ultimately goes back to the police chief it is fitting that he be the one to appoint suitable officers on his own without any political interference.
Projects under police act 2017
After this Act the police force autonomously initiated various projects that include: the Counter-Terrorism Force, the Elite Police Training Centre Nowshera, and six specialized police schools: Explosive Handling (Nowshera), Investigation (Peshawar), Tactics (Peshawar), Public Disorder and Riot Management (Mardan), Intelligence (Abbottabad), and Information Technology (Peshawar). Along with legalizing the Dispute Resolution Councils, the Police Access Service and the Police Assistance Lines.
Reduced political interference
In accordance to these measures the chief minister KPK, Pervez Khattak said, “we have made the force completely independent and free of the political clutches.” Thus, through this act he said they have given the running of the police institution to people who are supposed to be doing it: their own bosses and not the political leader who are only to legislated law and not run the police department and its workings.
However, he added that adding a watchdog commission of elected members over the institution will ensure accountability. To second the chief minister’s statement a senior journalist, Nisar Mahmud, referred to the accountability measures legislated in the act as, “the KP police Act 2017 will improve the force and ultimately law and order.”
He further elaborated that if proper accountability system for senior officials are set there is no harm to give them such unadulterated power, as the alternative system of political interference and meddling damages police performance.
Police Reforms in KPK: With the collective willingness of the police as a pillar of the state and the provincial government, these historic reforms were possible to be passed and enacted
The process of depoliticizing Police force had begun a year before the Police Act of 2017 with the Kyber Pakhtunkhwa Police Ordinance 2016 (KPPO). This ordinance was a landmark achievement in the process of untangling the police intitution from the unwanted and not at all needed polical influnecnece, building on the Police Order of 2002.
It was in this order that the chief minster KPK transfered his powers of appointing senior officers of the police force to the IGP. Thus, making it the first and landmark step to untangle the law enforcing agency from political influence and, thereby, from the centeralized culture of governance.
Along with all the above mentioned landmark achievements the KPPO also stipulates merit-based fast track promotions to the ranks of DSP, along with promoting transparency in procurements and community policing.
Not just that but it also promotes stricter punishments for officers involved in crimes, ensure protection of tenure for junior officers, and appoints a commisioner to oversee actual implimentation of the KPPO.
Achievements & Developments of KPK Police
During PTI’s tenure in KPK police has achieved alot, demonstrating that insitutions of law enforcement can be brought to new era’s standards with regards to its methods and tranaparency in its daily workings.
Improvements in the accessibility to the untapped resources of the degitial world the KPK police was laced with; Digitization of FIRs, Tenant Information System, Identity Verification System, Vehicle Verification System, Criminal Record Verification, Geo-Tagging, and SOS Alert System.
The most significant Police Reforms in KPK happened during IGP Durrani
In order to make the institution wellversed in digital techonology a training school was set up in Spetermber 2015, and it was then made mandatory for promotions to high ranks to undergo IT training.
The courses in this school included courses; basic computer course, advanced computer course, professional computer course, E-learning course, computer programming, hardware maintenanace and troubleshooting course.
With all these innovative up gradation and freedom from political influences of all sorts the force police in KPK has become an exemplary body for the rest of the provinces.
The work done by KPK government indicates that making police an independent body that citizens can completely trust and rely on can be fully achieve if the will is there and thus other provincial governments needs to set up and follow suit of depoliticizing their police forces and making them laced with innovative technology to combat and tackle security issues of the 21st century.
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