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Discussion in 'Pakistan's Internal Security' started by fatman17, May 8, 2013.

  1. fatman17

    fatman17 PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Wednesday, May 08, 2013

    Policemen absent during polls will be dismissed

    KARACHI: Sindh Police spokesman SSP Imran Shaukat announced on Tuesday that any police personnel who is found absent from duty during the general
    elections-2013, will be dismissed from service. app
     
  2. UmarJustice

    UmarJustice FULL MEMBER

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    The Punjab police are all set to undergo another massive reshuffle, right from top to bottom, as the PML-N is ready to form the next government in the biggest province for another five-year term since it emerged as the single-largest political party in the general election 2013.
    In early April, the caretakerPunjabgovernment reshuffled the entire police administration in the province from the police station level to the Central Police Office (CPO). The caretakers enthusiastically transferred all the Regional Police Officers (RPOs), District Police Officers (DPOs), divisional and sub-divisional police officers, and even the Station House Officers (SHOs) and the Moharrirs at every police station.
    Many new faces were introduced on key posts in the police department with typical slogans and promises like provision of justice at grass-root level, better law and order situation, and corruption-free policing.
    More interestingly, the caretakers picked up most of the officers, who had never been given key postings under the Shahbaz-regime due to one or another reason. Even the political opponents of the PML-N were given important and lucrative posts.
    But the police administration was caught by surprise as the election results also shook many analysts and political pundits, who were not predicting the win of the PML-N.
    Now, everyone who matters in the police administration is in search of safe-heaven to save the skin. A good number of police officers have already applied either for long leaves or they wanted sideline postings. From top to bottom, another reshuffle is definite to hit the police department as the new government would form its own team to run the affairs of the otherwise powerful police force.
    The caretaker federal government appointed Aftab Sultan as the provincial police chief. He had been given the task to ensure free, fair, and transparent elections under conducive and peaceful atmosphere. Days after taking over the charge of his new assignment Aftab Sultan transferred all the RPOs and DPOs.
    Lahoreoperations police chief, DIG Jawad Ahmed Dogar, followed the same pattern and transferred all the SHOs in the provincial metropolis. Many officers had objected to the move terming it as a futile exercise, citing various reasons. This unusual and extraordinary move not only created uncertainty in the entire police administration but also badly affected the police working.
    However, the police hierarchy was of the view that the large-scale administrative reshuffle was meant to convince all the stakeholders that free, fair, and transparent elections would be ensured and all the players would be given level-playing field.
    As a matter of fact, the government transferred several cops from one place to the other place. A number of DPOs, SDPOs, and SHOs were transferred from one place to the other. The caretakers were seen ‘obliging’ their blue-eyed cops by appointing them on lucrative posts as the policemen, in great numbers, were appointed on the recommendations of someone.
    On the other hand, the caretakers failed to improve the law and order situation in the province, where the crimes rate continued to swell.
    During the previous one week, in Lahore, armed bandits continued their looting and made off with cash, gold ornaments, and other valuables worth Rs980 million in more than 235 successful strikes.
    The bandits also took away 43 cars and 119 motorcycles from different parts of the City. The bandits struck brazenly across the provincial capital while targeting residences even in the posh and highly-guarded localities apart from depriving motorists, families and even ordinary passersby of their belongings.
    The police launched large-scale search operations against suspected terrorists by inspecting all the religious schools, neighbourhoods, and even the motorists at the pickets set up across the Punjab province but to no avail.
    The Punjab police are yet to trace the whereabouts of the abducted son of former Prime Minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, who had been snatched away by gunmen during an election rally in Multan when the police were put on high-alert.
    A leading member of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Khalid Bsashir, was found shot dead from the suburb of Lahore days after he had been abducted by unidentified gunmen a few meters away from his house in the Hajveri Town in Harbanspura area. The police are groping in the dark with no lead and no clue to unearth the killers.
    Uncertainty has again gripped the police department, where officers are struggling for new postings rather than making efforts to maintain peace and to trace the high-profile cases. As the new government is all set to sworn, another massive reshuffle is on the cards. The police performance plummets with every passing day amid uncertainty as the officers failed to give results during the short-term postings.

    Punjab police back to square one
     
  3. fatman17

    fatman17 PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    here we go - thana politics.......
     
  4. fatman17

    fatman17 PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Robert M. Perito and Tariq Parvez

    Empowering the Pakistan Police.

    ABOUT THE REPORT

    This report is based on interviews with seventy Pakistani police officers conducted in Islamabad, Lahore, and Washington, DC. Interviewees included seven former inspectors general of police, active duty inspectors general, and other senior officers, including women police. The report is also based on written materials submitted by Pakistani police officers describing actions they had taken to improve police-community relations. It is part of a project conducted by the U.S. Institute of Peace on the role of police in countering insurgency, terrorism, and violent crime.

    Summary
    • In Pakistan’s struggle against violent extremism, Pakistani police officers have sacrificed their lives to save others. Yet these acts of heroism have done little to alter the fact that most Pakistanis fear the police and seek their assistance as a last resort.

    • The origins of abusive police behavior are found in Pakistan’s colonial past. The basic police law and the organization of the police date from the period of British rule, as do the attitudes of police toward the public.

    • Pakistan’s initial response to violent extremism has been to create heavily armed antiterrorist units. The relationship between public support for the police and improved police effectiveness against terrorism has received less attention than it deserves.

    • Fortunately, the Police Service of Pakistan includes a group of talented senior officers who recognize that improving police-public relations is essential to halting extremist violence. These officers took innovative steps in their districts that brought increased public support.

    Unfortunately, these initiatives ended when the officers were transferred.

    • Institutionalizing successful innovations offers a means of improving police effectiveness against terrorism and criminal violence within existing legal authority and available resources. Such an effort would be an appropriate focus for international donor support.

    In the country’s struggle against violent extremism, Pakistani police officers have sacrificed their lives to save the lives of those around them. Heroic acts by the police have occurred in Peshawar, Quetta, and Karachi—cities affected by the spread of terrorism from the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. Yet the acts of police heroism have done little to alter the fact that most Pakistanis fear the police and seek their assistance as a last resort. Widespread corruption, high-handedness, and abusive behavior have soured police-community relations. Policemen routinely demand bribes, refuse to register cases, and, in the case of female crime victims, engage in harassment or worse. Forced confessions obtained by giving prisoners the third degree are common in a judicial system with little capacity for evidence-based prosecutions. The origins of abusive police behavior are rooted in Pakistan’s colonial past.

    Police in half the country’s provinces still operate under an 1861 police law enacted following a major insurrection against British rule in 1857. The law provides for a police force that relies on fear, intimidation, and officially sanctioned violence to protect the state. Missing from the 1861 act is any language regarding the police protecting the people, providing services, or promoting good relations with the community. Beyond the archaic legal framework, Pakistan’s police suffer from a long list of contemporary problems. The rank and file of Pakistan’s 624,400-member police institutions is poorly educated, ill-trained, badly equipped, underpaid, and working under inhumane conditions. Most of the nation’s police stations are in dilapidated buildings. Some substations are in makeshift structures and even tents. Police are expected to work long hours seven days a week and often go months, if not years, with no time off. Perhaps not surprisingly, constables who are abused by the system and their supervisors treat the public in kind.

    In Pakistan, the initial response to the growing threat from insurgency, terrorism, and violent crime was to create heavily armed antiterrorist units and distribute limited quantities of body armor, assault rifles, and armored vehicles to the regular police. The relationship between public support for the police and police effectiveness has received far less attention than it deserves, but fortunately, the Police Service of Pakistan boasts a core group of talented senior officers who recognize that improvements in public-police relations are essential to halting the spread of extremist violence. Most of these officers have served at senior levels in UN police missions, and many have studied in U.S. and European universities.

    They understand that increasing public support for the police is a requirement for countering terrorist groups. The strong desire of many in the police leadership to bridge the gap between the public and the police is a very encouraging sign and gives hope for the future.

    Many senior police officers took steps in areas under their direct authority that improved police-community relations and brought increased public support. Such actions included remodeling the entrances to police stations to make them more welcoming; installing closed-circuit television cameras over complaint desks and in holding cells to prevent abuse; creating public committees to monitor police conduct and review public complaints; expediting the processing of minor transactions, such as reporting stolen property or lost documents; and establishing a television channel to inform the public about police activities through news reports on local affairs. In all cases, however, these reforms terminated when the officers responsible were transferred to new assignments.

    Previous studies of the role of Pakistan’s police in counterterrorism have focused on the need for new legal authorities, modern forensic and communication technology, armored vehicles, and heavy weaponry. Such improvements must be pursued, and current U.S. police assistance programs are providing valuable equipment, training, and infrastructure development. However, experience in other conflicts shows that success against terrorism rests more on police ability to gain community support than on technical upgrades and more lethal weapons. Improving police-community relations by improving police behavior and providing police services can be achieved by institutionalizing the types of initiatives described in this report. Supporting such indigenous efforts offers another avenue for the international community to help Pakistan build the type of police-community partnerships that will pay dividends in the struggle against terrorism and criminal violence.

    Pakistan’s Current Difficulties Are Rooted in the Colonial Past

    Today Pakistan’s security is challenged by organized criminal enterprises, terrorists, and insurgent groups that use cutting-edge technology to recruit converts and coordinate their operations. That these organizations are radicalized by Islamist doctrine, receive foreign financial support, and often work in tandem further complicates the security challenge.

    Shortfalls in a number of areas hamper the Pakistani policing system’s ability to respond, but its most fundamental problems are a legacy of the country’s colonial past.

    The growing threat from insurgency, terrorism, and organized crime emanates mostly from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), territories along the disputed border with Afghanistan that are beyond Pakistani police authority. The British administered this vast and rugged area through a system of indirect rule that granted considerable autonomy to local authorities. Under the 1873 Frontier Crimes Regulation (which remains in effect) and Pakistan’s current constitution, basic legal rights are not available to residents in these areas, and the laws adopted by Pakistan’s parliament do not apply. In these border regions, which include portions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and 95 percent of Balochistan,

    internal security is the responsibility of locally recruited tribal police; federally controlled paramilitary organizations, such as the Frontier Corps, Frontier Constabulary, and the Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts; and the Pakistan Army.

    In 2004, 2007, and 2008, the army initiated operations against the Pakistani Taliban and other extremist groups in the tribal areas and in the Swat valley, clearing some of these areas of insurgent groups and greatly extending the army’s involvement in providing internal security.
    Under the legal legacy of the colonial era, Pakistan’s police are responsible for dealing with extremist violence that emanates from areas bordering on tribal regions, even as they have no authority there and encounter strained relations with tribal and federal paramilitary forces. Military and police failures to share intelligence further impede the police counterterrorism effort. The gap in cooperation between the police, army, and paramilitary forces is exacerbated by the antiquated legal authority under which the police operate.

    Following the 1857 Sepoy Rebellion, the British focused on suppressing popular dissent, initiating a system of policing that protected the state and the ruling elite. The Police Act of 1861 codified this policing approach, establishing a force with military ranks, strict discipline, and little regard for the community. Despite the passage of time and Pakistan’s independence in 1947, the ethos of the 1861 law continues to influence policing in Pakistan.

    During his rule, General Pervez Musharraf promulgated Police Order 2002, which aimed to create a modern police service operating under democratic principles without political interference and with full accountability. The Police Order’s preamble states that the police will be professional, service oriented, and accountable to the people. The reform was short lived.

    The subsequent civilian government watered the order down. It was never fully implemented, and eventually two of Pakistan’s four provinces, Sindh and Baluchistan, rejected it outright and formally returned to the 1861 Act. Pakistan’s two other provinces, Punjab and KPK, operate under modified versions of Police Order 2002, but policing in the two provinces most often reflects the spirit of the 1861 Act.

    The influence of the colonial era and the 1861 Police Act are reflected in thana culture, a term used in Pakistan to describe a general police mind-set that accepts as common practice such abuses as demanding bribes for performing police services, illegal detention, and extraction of confessions through third-degree methods.1 Police stations are heavily guarded and many are in fortress-like structures that convey a sense of the state’s authority.

    Uniformed guards armed with automatic weapons reinforce the visual message of intimidation and fear. In police stations, constables affect a military demeanor and military-style discipline and routinely treat the public in a crude, abusive, and high-handed manner. As a result, the public regards police stations as places to be avoided, and seeking police assistance is viewed as a last resort.

    While the public and the press universally revile thana culture, the system is designed to serve the interests of influential members of the public and politicians at all levels. These elites routinely interfere in police activities and use the police for personal benefit, intimidate or eliminate opponents, and to perform services, particularly personal protection.

    In districts where there is a terrorist threat, a majority of the police force is often deployed as personal protective details for local officials and prominent personalities. Out of turn promotions, assignments to more attractive areas and opportunities for foreign training create patronage relationships between police and local elites that both parties exploit.

    These relations feed corruption, encourage the misuse of authority, and further tarnish the reputation of the police with the public.

    An exception to the negative public image of the Pakistan police is the National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP), established in 1997 with the completion of a modern expressway between Lahore and Islamabad. Today the five thousand members of the NHMP are responsible for over three thousand kilometers of highways in Pakistan. Unlike their regular police colleagues, the NHMP have a national reputation for honesty, professionalism, and public service.

    The NHMP reports to the federal Ministry of Communication, which avoids the pitfalls associated with the provincial police authorities and their susceptibility to political interference and petty corruption. NHMP officers are not authorized to conduct investigations, do not have station houses, do not wear standard police uniforms, and only deal with crimes related to traffic control; the provincial police handle serious crimes committed on highways. Members of the NHMP are recruited on merit from a diverse range of potential sources. The standard for recruits is a high school education, but half the force has a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

    NHMP officers receive higher salaries, newer equipment, nicer uniforms, and better medical care and housing than the regular police. Promotion and assignments are based on performance; officers are eligible for annual awards presented by the prime minister. The highway police enjoy the respect of the motoring public, which is proud that the police will not accept bribes, will issue tickets to everyone regardless of status, and are trained to be courteous and provide assistance to motorists in distress. The highway police maintain their positive record because their authority is limited to issuing traffic citations. With nothing more at stake than a nominal fine, political and social elites have given the NHMP a pass from the favors that they demand routinely from the regular police.

    Bureaucratic Organization and Inadequate Legal Authority Impede Effectiveness.

    Policing in what has been called Pakistan’s mainland is organized by province: Punjab, Sindh, KPK, and Baluchistan each have independent police services that share common traits but have separate histories, differ in size, and operate under different legal authorities. Punjab, which has 56 percent of the country’s population and its largest police force at 175,000 members, includes the megacity of Lahore, the country’s cultural center. The Punjab police formally adhere to Police Order 2002, but it has been only partially implemented. A draft 2011 police law would reinstate elements from the 1861 Police Act.

    In Sindh, the province’s 111,000 police must deal with the eighteen million inhabitants of Karachi, where policing is plagued by politicization, massive corruption, ethnic and sectarian conflict, insurgent activity, and terrorist acts. In 2011, the Sindh provincial assembly repealed the 2002 police order, replacing it with the 1861 Police Act.

    In KPK, the province’s 65,000 police officers are responsible for the flashpoint city of Peshawar and the Afghan border–related problems of insurgency, terrorism, kidnapping, drug trafficking, and weapons smuggling. Some elements of the 2002 order were implemented, but there was no formal repeal of the 1861 act.

    In Baluchistan, the 32,000 provincial police are responsible for only 4.1 percent of the province, include the city of Quetta and other urban centers. The remainder is policed by militia-style forces recruited under a levy system. Baluchistan’s 2011 Police Act is effectively a carbon copy of the 1861 police law.2

    Within Pakistan’s four provinces, police are recruited at three ranks: constable, assistant sub inspector, and assistant superintendent of police. Constables and head constables that compose the rank and file of provincial police forces are recruited locally. Recruits are from the lower strata of society and have completed high school (i.e., ten years) as the minimum educational qualification. Assistant sub inspectors have a higher secondary school certificate (i.e., twelve years) as the minimum educational qualification and are selected through the public service commission. Training is devoted to marching and other drills, paying little attention to modern police skills. Salaries are low, and uniforms, housing, medical care, and other benefits are limited or not provided. Police stations are in poor repair and working conditions are deplorable. Over the course of a career, constables have little prospect for promotion or better assignments. Under these conditions, it is not surprising that these policemen are open to opportunities for petty corruption, recruitment by politicians or criminal elements, and abuse of their position for personal gain.

    In contrast, the officer corps of the provincial police comes from the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP), among the most prestigious of the occupational groups constituting the Central Superior Services. Members are recruited through the federal civil service examination system, undergo common training with other civil servants at the Civil Service Academy, and receive specialized training at the National Police Academy in Islamabad, graduating with the rank of assistant superintendent of police. Members of this elite corps serve throughout the country and, during their careers, rotate through postings in all the provinces, rising to the rank of inspector general of police.

    The decentralized and provincially based nature of policing in Pakistan has created a system with ineffective national oversight. The three-track personnel system has institutionalized a force with vast differences in status, education, and training between the officer corps and the rank and file. The combination of these two factors has placed structural limitations on police effectiveness in countering terrorist threats.

    The limitations on effectiveness also are evident in the laws and institutions specifically focused on countering terrorism. Pakistan’s national Anti-Terrorism Act was adopted in 1997 and applies throughout the country except FATA. The act creates special antiterrorism courts with special powers, but it is vaguely worded and lacks a specific definition of terrorism or a terrorist act. The law’s very broad scope allows the government to bring any offense related to terrorism before the special courts. In practice, police have misused the law—mistakenly, with malevolent intent, or on political prompting—registering extraneous cases that clog the special courts. The conviction rate for terrorist cases registered under the act is extremely low, as witnesses are reluctant to testify and police forensics abilities are limited. Judges claim the police fail to provide adequate evidence; the police counter that the courts favor defendants by setting impossibly high standards for evidence presented in trials or by delaying cases for years, causing witnesses to lose interest or fall victim to intimidation by the accused.

    Police point out that the act fails to provide for witnesses protection, which is crucial because the 1984 Evidence Act defines evidence as testimony presented in court.3

    Police counterterrorism efforts are also hindered by the lack of an effective national mechanism to coordinate the country’s disparate federal and provincial forces and programs. In 2009, the federal government established the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) to generate a national counterterrorism strategy and action plan, conduct research and collate intelligence to produce a comprehensive national terrorism assessment, and serve as a focal point for liaison with foreign governments and international organizations.

    After refusing to act for four years, the parliament adopted legislation to raise NACTA’s profile in March 2013. Even with the new legislation, NACTA will require extensive foreign training and capacity building in research, analysis, and strategic planning, as well as international funding and political support to insure its impartiality.

    Since NACTA has been ineffective, the intelligence and coordinating mission has fallen to provincial police forces with marked differences in the quality and robustness of their response.
    Shortfalls Make Improving Police-Community Relations More Important

    Faced with growing threats and shortfalls in authority and resources, some PSP members have recognized that better police-community relations are a means to improve police ability to control crime and to counter terrorism. This approach is consistent with the experience of police forces in other countries, particularly in the United States and Western Europe, as well as United Nations (UN) police forces in peace and stability operations.

    Many PSP officers who have undertaken initiatives to improve relations with the public have served in one or more UN police missions, often at senior levels. After returning to Pakistan, these officers have sought to apply what they learned to police operations in districts under their direct control, resulting in a series of largely successful experiments carried out in diverse areas and under a range of local circumstances. Improved relations with the public resulted in increased support for the police, particularly in the public’s willingness to provide information on criminal and terrorist activity. The experiments focused on improving public access to police stations, improving efficiency and behavior in providing police services, including the public in police operations, and reaching out to the public through media and other means. Unfortunately, in all cases, the experiments ended when the implementing officers were transferred and their successors did not continue their work. Nevertheless, these effective innovations are potential models for police development programs in Pakistan.

    Improving Public Access to Police Stations

    In Pakistan’s policing culture, the police station is the institution most established with tradition and resistant to change. The arrogant and abusive behavior of station personnel alienates the public and contributes to the negative image of the police. Innovative PSP officers took steps to reverse negative popular perceptions of police stations, changing the image of heavily guarded buildings to welcoming institutions that resembled other public or commercial buildings.

    Three police stations in the capital territory of Islamabad benefited from a pilot U.S. assistance program that built prefabricated police reporting rooms on police compounds; these rooms had direct street access so citizens could register complaints and talk with police without entering the station. In districts outside the capital, innovative officers remodeled station entrances and recruited well-educated and highly trained young staff to interface with the public. They also established procedures under which all visitors or callers to a station received a personal call from the senior station officer to ask if they were satisfied with their experience. To check high-handedness at police stations in the capital, the Islamabad police assigned human rights officers to police stations to prevent illegal detention and abuse and to ensure that prisoners received adequate food, blankets, and medical care. Human rights officers also informed relatives that a family member had been detained—a small step that redressed an important public grievance about the police’s lack of notification for arrests and demands for bribes for providing basic amenities for prisoners.

    Using skills acquired during a UN police mission in Kosovo, one PSP officer installed video cameras and microphones to monitor the front desk and the holding cells of police stations in his district. The cameras were linked by closed circuit to an office at police headquarters where a senior police officer was on duty at all times to oversee activities at the district stations.

    The front desk of each station also had a public telephone under a sign explaining that any citizen who was unsatisfied with his treatment should pick up the telephone and talk with the senior officer on duty at headquarters. Another officer raised funds through public donations to renovate the central station in his district, making it more citizen-friendly by giving it a corporate look. Remodeling included a cafeteria that served three hot meals a day for policemen and guests on subsidized rates and a generator that ensured electricity at all times. The renovation improved both public confidence and police morale. Improving access to stations was particularly important for women who were discouraged by social convention or the threat of scandal from visiting a police station. Several officers created separate offices staffed by women police to receive complaints from women that often dealt with domestic abuse and gender-based violence. These offices were comfortably furnished and designed to create an environment where women felt comfortable talking with the police.

    Improving Efficiency in Police Services

    The most common public complaint about the Pakistani police involves the difficulty of filing a first information report (FIR), the basic document required to register a case or report a crime. Registering a FIR obligates the police to investigate a complaint, but getting the police to accept a FIR from an average citizen generally requires the intervention of a senior police officer or influential person and the payment of a bribe. The downside of registering thousands of FIRs at busy urban police stations every year is obvious. Such filings negatively affect district crime statistics, add to the workload of overburdened investigators, and create public expectations that action will be taken. A significant percentage of FIRs also involve false charges, as the persons filing them seek advantage in a personal dispute. Most often, one party makes a fraudulent complaint in a dispute over a bad loan, land ownership, or sale of a defective item. The person filing the complaint accuses the other party of committing a crime—stealing the money, land, or item—to force the other party to resolve the dispute on favorable terms. FIRs may also incriminate the other party’s relatives and friends to prevent them from offering support. Legal constraints on filing false FIRs are weak and routinely ignored. The practice is further encouraged by the common police practice of arresting the accused before investigating the complaint to determine its validity.

    Innovative PSP officers have taken steps to deal with the various problems related to FIRs.
    An inspector general of police announced that individual police stations’ performances would not be judged on the number of cases filed, but every crime report submitted at police stations must be registered. This removed the major reason why police did not accept complaints. However, if there was a complaint from the public about the failure to register a report of a crime, disciplinary action would be taken against the officer in charge of the police station. Initially, the province registered a very steep rise in reported crimes, but after a few months the number stabilized.
    After the inspector general was transferred, however, the police lapsed back into their earlier practice of not registering. Another set of innovations dealt with the second most common public complaint, which involves the difficulty of getting the police to perform routine procedures, such as providing a police report of a lost document, as government regulations mandate, or a lost item, as insurance companies require. Citizens complain that such procedures always involve prolonged waits and bribes. To improve performance, PSP officers directed police stations to dispose of such routine matters within one hour.

    This policy was advertised to the public with a request that anyone who failed to receive prompt service should report the incident to a senior officer designated to ensure enforcement of the regulation.

    Including the Public in Police Operations

    In what might seem a contradiction given the overall problems in police-community relations, the Pakistani police are routinely called upon to intervene and adjudicate noncriminal disputes among members of the public. These disputes range from petty squabbles between neighbors over noise and trash to major confrontations between extended families over land ownership that have escalated into revenge killings. Mediating such disputes is part of every police officer’s work, even as it lies outside their official duties. Resolving disputes is time consuming, normally done without compensation, and risks involving the police in disputes or corruption. To address this problem, several PSP officers created a range of citizen committees to assist the police in resolving local issues. These committees employed hundreds of people from various social and vocational backgrounds. Unfortunately, the courts have sought to discourage the committees’ work by refusing to recognize their decisions.

    The citizen committees sought to improve police-community relations by working to improve public safety. Conciliatory committees assisted police stations with resolving local disputes over land, marital conflicts, and commercial transactions. The objective was to discourage the filing of false FIRs, freeing the police to focus on major crimes. The committees proved able to resolve disputes and avoid reprisals. Peace committees planned security for major festivals and rallies, reducing the need for police deployments to deal with civil disorder. Vigilance committees aimed to prevent robberies, vehicle theft, purse snatching, and kidnapping by informing the police about suspicious activities and persons. A neighborhood watch program created safer streets and fewer burglaries using fewer police resources.

    Police response committees monitored the police reaction to distress calls and crime reports, resulting in improved police performance.

    Increasing Public Outreach through Media and Events

    Police-community relations in Pakistan suffer from a lack of public awareness of the police and their activities. Public affairs radio and television programming concerning the work of the police and police support for community events is largely missing. In one exceptional case, innovative PSP officers sought to correct this situation through a series of initiatives that used radio, television, and local press to publicize the positive role of the police. They also engaged the police in sponsoring activities that involved community participation and showed the police in a more positive light. In several districts, PSP officers started local radio programs run with the help of citizen volunteers that broadcast local news, announcements of coming community events, and information about new laws, regulations, and traffic patterns.

    The programs also reported on the provision of police services, arrests of offenders, and efforts to improve public safety. In one case, a PSP officer started a local television channel in a remote area that broadcast provincial and district news, cultural programs, and reports about the activities of the police in the community. The channel’s broadcasts of interviews with local people and reports of local events assured its popularity. In turn, the police benefited from exposure to the community through interviews with police officers and reports on police efforts to control crime and protect the public.

    In addition to using the media, innovative officers used police stations in their districts to host community events and involved their officers in supporting programs that benefited the community.

    In a remote district on the Afghan border, a PSP officer created an exhibit of religious history and articles in the central police station and invited the public. The large and festive turnout marked a victory for the police in an area threatened by extremist violence.

    Other officers organized sports leagues, opened community gymnasiums and public libraries in police stations, and offered driver training programs and horseback riding classes. Some officers hosted public receptions at police stations featuring local personalities to attract the public. In addition, PSP officers attended business association meetings and community gatherings, gave lectures in public schools, supported children’s camps, and demonstrated that the police were approachable and interested in assisting the community.

    Conclusions and Recommendations

    Given the threat from violent extremism and organized crime, efforts by Pakistan’s government and foreign donors to train and equip special counterterrorism units and to provide regular police with heavier weapons, body armor, and armored vehicles must continue.

    Current programs for building, refurbishing, and hardening police stations should expand to include more of the police system’s decaying infrastructure. These programs are essential to making the provincial police a modern and professional force that can protect their communities from violent assaults.

    At the same time, Pakistan’s political leadership, senior provincial police officials, and foreign donor governments should recognize that improving police-community relations by providing police services offers a method of countering violent groups that has largely been ignored.

    Studies of the role of police in countering terrorism, insurgency, and violent crime show that when police forces are available, responsive, and fair to citizens who contact them for assistance, they are repaid with information on the location and activities of persons who threaten both the police and the public. Governments that encourage this type of police behavior also benefit from the enhanced legitimacy that comes from providing effective police forces.4 This is not to say that changing traditional attitudes of the police toward the community is easy, as the history of policing in Pakistan attests.

    Current policing practices in Pakistan serve entrenched political and economic interests and compensate for shortcomings in the legal system, as well as the pay and conditions of service for the police.

    Improving police-community relations, however, offers the prospect of producing results within existing legal frameworks and with current levels of manpower and material resources.

    Innovative police officers implemented reforms that produced positive results within the limits of their authority and resources. These reforms are models that all provinces could apply with appropriate adjustments for local environments. Where these innovations were attempted, the missing component was not success but the political will to institutionalize these practices after the officer who introduced the reforms was transferred. Initiatives had the greatest chance of sustainability when the political leadership, police officials, police rank and file, and civil society supported them.

    This leads to the following recommendations:

    • Reform police culture. Efforts to improve police-community relations must begin with the police station, the core institution in policing in Pakistan. Most of the innovations introduced by PSP members were intended to make police stations less forbidding and more accessible and to improve the services provided to members of the public who contacted the police. This effort must extend beyond better treatment and increased efficiency—although that is essential—to the more difficult task of investigating and solving crimes.

    Improvements in police capacity to engage in basic law enforcement will pay dividends in many areas, including the ability to convict potential terrorists who commit ordinary crimes to obtain money or materials for future terrorist acts. Improving working conditions in police stations also is crucial to reforming police culture.

    • Engage citizens in police work. Real improvements in police-community relations occur when members of the public and the police work together to resolve problems and solve crimes. Forming citizen committees to mediate personal disputes, marital problems, land issues, and commercial squabbles removed a burden from the police and engaged citizens in resolving real problems that affected the stability of their communities. Including citizens in providing security for public events increased the numbers responsible for ensuring public safety. Engaging influential citizens in these committees developed an important constituency for the police in dealing with political pressure and as a potential source of financial contributions to police institutions and activities.

    • Demonstrate that change is in everyone’s interest. Opposition to change is part of human nature and a feature of police forces around the globe. In promoting change, reformers should demonstrate to both political leaders and police constables that improving police community relations reflects positively on the government and makes the job of the police easier. In many parts of Pakistan, the police face daily threats from terrorist violence, and this approach to policing may be a difficult sell. Experience also shows that security forces that suffer violent attacks tend to respond with greater violence. However, experience also shows that police forces that resist the temptation to react violently and instead concentrate on building relationships and protecting the community can ultimately bring terrorist violence under control.

    The goal of police reform in Pakistan should be to empower the police to protect and serve the community. The reform program should draw on the work of PSP members whose innovations have proven successful and can be institutionalized. The strong desire for reform among police leadership is an asset increasing the probability of success.

    This is certainly not the total answer, but it can be an important step forward.
     
  5. muse

    muse PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Excellent - consistently you present threads that allow Pakistani and international opinion on this forum to broaden their understanding of events - Pakistanis at all levels, have a less than informed view of the importance of an effective and efficient police force to the development of Pakistan as a free country.
     
  6. fatman17

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    professionals need to be inducted in key positions (and many are available) instead of appointments based on 'nepotism' and 'patronage' - as suggested the IGP's should be appointed in similar fashion like the Head of NAB etc - vetted by a committee comprising the interior ministry/judiciary/parliament oversight members/former police officers of repute instead of provincial CM's.
     
  7. Argus Panoptes

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  8. fatman17

    fatman17 PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    this would remove the use of the army in internal security matters and lessen their undue influence.
     
  9. Argus Panoptes

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    Yes, but only if the recommendation of the report are truly implemented:

    This leads to the following recommendations:

    • Reform police culture. Efforts to improve police-community relations must begin with the police station, the core institution in policing in Pakistan. Most of the innovations introduced by PSP members were intended to make police stations less forbidding and more accessible and to improve the services provided to members of the public who contacted the police. This effort must extend beyond better treatment and increased efficiency—although that is essential—to the more difficult task of investigating and solving crimes.

    Improvements in police capacity to engage in basic law enforcement will pay dividends in many areas, including the ability to convict potential terrorists who commit ordinary crimes to obtain money or materials for future terrorist acts. Improving working conditions in police stations also is crucial to reforming police culture.

    • Engage citizens in police work. Real improvements in police-community relations occur when members of the public and the police work together to resolve problems and solve crimes. Forming citizen committees to mediate personal disputes, marital problems, land issues, and commercial squabbles removed a burden from the police and engaged citizens in resolving real problems that affected the stability of their communities. Including citizens in providing security for public events increased the numbers responsible for ensuring public safety. Engaging influential citizens in these committees developed an important constituency for the police in dealing with political pressure and as a potential source of financial contributions to police institutions and activities.

    • Demonstrate that change is in everyone’s interest. Opposition to change is part of human nature and a feature of police forces around the globe. In promoting change, reformers should demonstrate to both political leaders and police constables that improving police community relations reflects positively on the government and makes the job of the police easier. In many parts of Pakistan, the police face daily threats from terrorist violence, and this approach to policing may be a difficult sell. Experience also shows that security forces that suffer violent attacks tend to respond with greater violence. However, experience also shows that police forces that resist the temptation to react violently and instead concentrate on building relationships and protecting the community can ultimately bring terrorist violence under control.

    Source: http://www.defence.pk/forums/pakist...empowering-pakistan-police.html#ixzz2UgZAw2t9

    Those three things in bold are easier said than done.
     
  10. fatman17

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    we have to give it a try and PSP officers have demonstrated that with the examples quoted - leave the policing to the professionals and i cant see why there cannot be improvements.
     
  11. Argus Panoptes

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    Leaving policing to the professional is a great concept, but the direct and constant meddling by politicians and bureaucrats at all levels makes it impossible. Our police are primarily a tool to suppress and control the general population at the behest of those in charge, and therefore not available as a tool of social justice.
     
  12. Mugwop

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    Is this even a good idea? There are more cons then pros if the pakistani police is empowered. More bribes will be taken. More innocent people can get framed and human right abuses in jail cells.

    They should focus on empowering the firemen of pakistan.
     
  13. Developereo

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  15. Developereo

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    The problems were identified and exposed thirty years ago...

    One of my favorite dramas.

     
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