KARACHI, April 10: Former Police and FIA Chief Dr. Shoaib Suddle on Monday called upon the civil society, media and lawyers’ community to jointly struggle for implementation of the laws, especially the Police Order 2002.
Speaking as key note speaker at an Interactive Session on Police Reforms jointly organised by Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) and Citizens Trust against Crimes at the office of Citizens Police Liaison Committee (CPLC), Karachi Dr. Suddle said the de-politicisation of police is a must for effective working of the criminal justice system in the country.
“Right are not given, they are taken,” he said adding that the citizens activism through courts is an encouraging sign to ensure protection of rights, given under the Constitution. According to him, the Police Order-2002 is much better than the police laws of many countries.
Tracing back the formation of policing system in the unified India by British rulers, Dr. Suddle said that in 1856, the Indian Board of Governors of East India Company had already decided to make a police law on the same pattern of London Police Law. But, in the meantime, 1857 ‘mutiny’ (The Freedom War-1857) happened, so the British rulers framed the law in 1861 on the Irish model. They implemented the London model police law in only three major cities of India, Calcutta, Madras and Bombay.
After the independence, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had pledged to introduce the Bombay Model police law in Karachi, but, bureaucracy failed to fulfill that promise. Later, different commissions were formed to make a new police, which gave their recommendations; finally the 2002 law was passed.
Before its full implementation, the Police Order of 2002 was resisted by the politicians who said they needed SHOs to win elections in their areas, so the new law was not accepted to them. Over 100 amendments were made in Police Order, since its passage, he added.
He said the Article 143 of the Constitution makes it a federal law and also allows provinces to make amendments in the law, but, with certain conditions. In Sindh, the federal police law has been repealed and 1861 police law has been reintroduced. So, now, there is virtually a disorder in all provinces as Police Order is implemented only in Punjab province.
According to him law and order has always been provincial subject, but Police laws have been federal law and Police services are also at federal level. In 2003 the Lahore High Court had given a verdict that federal Police Order-2002 has a validity to be implemented in all provinces.
Giving example of other countries, he said Malaysia has federal system, and their police law. Similarly, Nepal’s parliament passed a new Constitution in 2015, after more than two years’ debate and it has clearly put in it that the crimes of terrorism or inter-provinces and international nature would be investigated by the federal government.
He pointed out the Police Order-2002 allows independent recruitment in police and it provides accountability procedure.
According to him, KP police law is much better. KP has depoliticized police and there is no role of the government in posting and transfer of police officers.
He said the Police order was constitutional validity, as Parliament under the 17th and 18th Amendments has declared it a valid law. According to the existing system, for appointment of Inspector General of Police and Chief Secretary, the federal government and provincial governments will do consultation and once an IG is appointed, the province cannot remove him by itself before expiry of three year term.
Kashif Paracha, General Secretary of Sindh High Court Bar Association said there is a judgment of SHC that fundamental rights be taught in curriculum, but it is not implemented, yet. According to him, implementation of laws is a big challenge in Pakistan.
Besides operational and administrative autonomy, financial autonomy is also essential for police. Internal accountability system within police system is important, Paracha said.
Saud Mirza, former Sindh police chief said that before the creation of Pakistan, there was strong police system in Sindh. He said that during British period, Police was under control of their officers. Charles Napier had passed an order that even if an Army officer violates laws, Police could have arrested and tried him. A police officer namely Young Husband in Shikarpur gave punishment to two Army personnel; he even went to extent that he provided corporal punishment to them. Later, the government sought explanation from him. “You have to make police independent and depoliticize and humanize it,” he said.
Former CPLC Chief Nazim F. Haji dwelt at length the constraints of police system in Pakistan. He said it is outdated, arbitrary and whimsical with inadequate accountability, poor incentives, and widespread corruption.
In his opening remarks, PILER’s Karamat Ali said that police needs to be non-political. He said there is a need to overhaul of the entire system. Police system needs to work under constitution and laws.
“We hope the fundamental rights, based on equality-based citizenship be provided to all people, irrespective of any difference of sex, religion and sect” he said.
CPLC Chief Zubair Ibrahim and other members of the CPCL also spoke on the occasion.