News Analysis |
Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar who is all set to retire in this week has said that he made all efforts to free police of political interventions. While speaking at the launch of a police reforms committee report at the Supreme Court, the chief justice said, “People ask me why did you take notice on Pakpattan DPO’s transfer.”
The CJP also said that his actions did not mean to benefit any individual. “It was not meant to benefit any individual but because a police officer was asked to explain his position to a non-office bearer… this downgraded the position of the police department,” he said while defending his stance. During the hearing of the matter, the top judge kept on reminding the IGP that he was actually degrading his own officers by appearing his political masters.
The top judge also maintained that depoliticizing police, and making it people friendly, were the core recommendations of the report.
It is worth mentioning here that the DPO of Pakpattan Mr.Rizwan Gondal was immediately transferred and made Officer on Special Duty (OSD) for allegedly stopping Khawar Maneka, ex-husband of Bushra Maneka. On August 23, it was reported that a police team led by DPO Rizwan Omar Gondal briefly intercepted Khawar’s car after he didn’t stop when signaled by the police to do so. Khawar was also believed to have misbehaved with the officials. The officer was later directed to visit Maneka Dera, Khawar’s residence, and tender an apology to him for intercepting the vehicle.
According to media reports, the DPO told a meeting called by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar that the police department had only fulfilled its duties and that he won’t apologize to Khawar. Shortly after, the officer was transferred and asked to report to Central Police Office (CPO) in Lahore.
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The CJP took the notice, suspended the order of transfer and formed a Joint Investigation Team (JIT). The CM Punjab and other involved persons were directed to appear before the court and submitted unconditional apologies. The court then accepted the apology and warned the CM to be careful in the future.
The CJP also cited the example of Islamabad IG’s transfer “for not answering a call from a minister,” adding that the police official was later transferred respectfully after his intervention. PTI’s Senator Azam Sawati was the person who got the IGP transferred but the court formed a JIT and suggested him to resign as Federal Minister. The inquiry is still pending against Mr. Swati.
A change in the police will help eliminating the monopoly of electable in the province who generally exploit masses by having control over Thana.
The top judge also argued that independent police force was a prerequisite for a transparent and efficient justice system in any country. Moreover, the CJP said the report provided a roadmap to overhaul the police department, keeping in view modern challenges. He emphasized the need to implement it in letter and spirit to bring about a change in the functioning of the police department. The top judge also maintained that depoliticizing police, and making it people friendly, were the core recommendations of the report.
PTI’s government was praised in KPK for reforming the police and making it independent. But as a matter of fact, PTI’s government in Punjab has remained unable to bring any change in police so far. The reform committee previously headed by the former IGP Mr. Nasir Durrani is reportedly working on police reforms but no recommendations have been made public as yet.
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Experts argue that if the PTI is interested in bringing change in Punjab, it needs to reform the police department on a preferential basis. A change in the police will help eliminating the monopoly of electable in the province who generally exploit masses by having control over Thana. Therefore, analysts urge the government to follow the recommendation made by the above-mentioned committee and reform the police across the country.