PM tells Punjab Police to get its act together


–Punjab IGP told to control child abuse, rape and pornography cases


LAHORE: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (PM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Monday revealed that PM Imran Khan has directed the Punjab Inspector General Police (IGP) to address the rising cases of child abuse, pornography and rape in the province.

Provincial Information Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal and Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Raja Muhammad Basharat were also present on the occasion.

“The prime minister, while chairing a meeting regarding ‘Police Reforms in Punjab’ at the Chief Minister (CM) Office asked IGP Capt (r), Arif Nawaz Khan, to take strong measures and control such crimes in the shortest possible time,” she told the media.

The IGP briefed the prime minister on the reforms being introduced in the Punjab Police to improve its image and performance.

Flanked by CM Usman Buzdar, Dr Firdous said the prime minister desired to adopt the best international practices available to improve the performance of police in the province. “He also wanted to check the exploitation of women at police stations and directed that they must be treated with respect as per social and religious values,” she added.

Dr Firdous further said that PM Imran has asked the chief minister to introduce legal, constitutional and structural reforms in the Punjab Police.

Responding to queries, she rejected the disinformation that the government had written-off loans of some businessmen.

The special assistant also assured journalists that she would meet media house owners regarding uncalled for laying off of media workers.

Earlier, the IGP had briefed the media on police reforms.

Further, while briefing the media on Monday’s cabinet meeting, CM Buzdar said that practical steps have been undertaken in order to change police culture.

Elaborating on the planned police reforms, the chief minister said that rules are being amended so as to make police public-friendly. “The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government is taking distinctive steps with the help of modern technology in order to bring changes in thana culture,” he said while adding that necessary resources will be provided to the police to help bring changes in their culture and attitude.

“We will also provide international level support and training to police and it will no longer be possible to change masl during in-camera investigation process,” Buzdar promised.

“The Punjab government is also bringing improvement in the law and order situation with the help of the safe city and information technology project. With the help of cameras, barracks and investigation process is being monitored in police stations,” he added.

The chief minister claimed that he always makes it a point to visit jails and police stations when he travels to different areas after which he has decided to change the jail manual as well. “By bringing changes in jail manual, seriously ill persons will be benefitted and about 300 seriously sick prisoners will also be benefitted. Rules are also being amended regarding release on parole and from which five thousand prisoners will be benefitted,” he added.

In response to a question, CM Buzdar said that besides police culture, Patwari culture will also be transformed. “A Patwari will be given the title of village officer and we will also bring changes in the jurisdiction. Necessary changes are also being undertaken in the Board of Revenue and a report will be submitted in this regard within two weeks. However, I must add that it is a difficult task to altogether change a 70-year-old system,” he said.

Moreover, Buzdar promised to formulate a joint line of action in order to resolve the problems of overseas Pakistanis by providing links to embassies.

The chief minister concluded by saying that the provincial government will put its one-year performance before the public.



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