PM Imran intervenes after Punjab Police resists reforms proposal


–PM directs Punjab IGP to propose amendments to police reforms draft, directs Punjab govt to withdraw old report


LAHORE: After a week of verbal clashes between senior police officials and bureaucrats over the matter of police reforms, Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed Inspector General Police Punjab (IGP) Capt (r) Arif Nawaz Khan to brief him on proposals for a new set of reforms.

In addition, Imran has also asked the Punjab government to withdraw the old report on police reforms and prepare a new one.

“The IGP will prepare a draft on new police reforms and will give a presentation to the prime minister within a week,” said a senior police official who wished not be named. He said bureaucrats were creating hurdles in the way of the reforms.

“The bureaucrats want to subdue the police and that is why they are standing in the way of police reforms,” he added.

Sources said that the prime minister did not endorse the idea of placing the police department under the deputy commissioner’s office.

Sources further said that the Punjab government’s inability to resolve the issue was what prompted PM Imran Khan to seek the IGP’s input.

Police officials are hopeful that reforms would be in line with the advice given by the senior police officials such as the IGP.

“These reforms do not have support of the bureaucracy,” said a Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) seeking anonymity, adding that “Only members of the police force who understand police matters are qualified to advise the government in this regard, and we are hopeful that the government will take their advice into account.”

Sources said that the IGP had informed the prime minister about reservations of senior police officials over the draft prepared by a committee headed by the interior secretary. He added that the Punjab government was preparing a new draft with the consultation of all stakeholders, especially the police.

IGP Capt (r) Arif Nawaz Khan also held a meeting with senior police officials on Tuesday and discussed the matter with them at length. He said that they had already worked on a set of alternative reforms and were awaiting the Prime Minister’s approval for it.

Talking to Pakistan Today, Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat said that they would bring reforms to police without curtailing the powers of police officials as per PM Imran Khan’s vision. He said he had made it clear to senior police officials that the government had no intention to place the police under deputy commissioners.