Published in The News on July 28, 2016%%
PESHAWAR: Minister for Local Government Inayatullah Khan has said the government is introducing the police reform act to empower the force.
Speaking as chief guest at a seminar titled “Strengthening Rule Of Law In KP” here, he said the police would take decisions on merit instead of under political influence.The event was organised by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) at the Peshawar Press Club.
Other speakers included Mohammad Ijaz, director general projects coordination unit, KP Police, and senior journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai. Lawyers, local government and youth representatives and members of the media and academia attended the event. The forum was part of the project “Ulasi Police” an awareness and advocacy campaign undertaken by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) - as part of USAID Small Grants and Ambassadors’ Fund Programme - to strengthen the rule of law in KP.
Inayatullah said after the promulgation of law the police would be made accountable and people-friendly. He said district police officer would be made answerable to the district council.
The minister said Regional Complaint Authority would be established for strict external accountability mechanism while the District Police Safety Commission would be given more powers and elected representatives and retired civil servants would be its members.
Rahimullah Yusufzai described public-police relationship as love-hate relationship and said the image of KP Police is better than the police in other provinces.
“The initiatives of community policing and technological modern tools are of significant importance, but it is critical to ensure the sustainability of these reforms and ensure proper budget for police in future,” he opined.
“Deputing IGP belonging to another province could help prevent conflict of interest and reduce the political influence over the police,” he pointed out.
He stressed that public interest should be paramount than personal interest be it in journalism, public service or any other profession. “While it is important to point out the shortcomings in the police, it is equally important to appreciate the cops due to the tremendous sacrifices they have made beyond the call of duty,” he added.
Muhammad Ijaz highlighted the reforms undertaken in KP Police and said these were aimed at professionalizing their services and conduct to improve their efficiency.
He said technological modern tools such as Police Access Service (PAS), Identity Verification System (IVS), Vehicle Verification System (VVS), Criminal Record Verification System (CRVS), Hotspot Policing (Geo Tagging), Online FIR and SOS Call Service had made a difference in policing and building confidence of the public in the police.
He said police reforms also aimed at reducing the fear of police among the public. He maintained that Dispute Resolution Councils (DRCs), Police Assistance Lines (PALs), Model Police Stations and Public Liaison Councils were at the core of community policing to ensure rule of law in the society.
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