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Republic Policy Seminar on Police Reforms and Creation of Provincial Police Service PPS

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Tahir Maqsood Chheena

Policing, a complex and multifaceted subject, is devolved worldwide, particularly in federations. In Pakistan, despite the devolution of policing, especially after the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, the federal police service, the Pakistan Police Service (PSP), still maintains control policing at the provincial and district levels. This situation, which is a constitutional subversion, raises urgent questions and concerns.

One of the primary issues with the current system is that it undermines the principle of devolution & federalism, which is essential for effective governance and decision-making. Policing is a vital component of law and order, which is a provincial subject and therefore, police establishment is covered under Article 240 (b) and PCS Acts. Consequently, it is of paramount importance to establish a provincial police service (PPS) to ensure effective policing at the provincial and district levels. PPS is also a constitutional obligation because a province must have a provincial police that must work under provincial government and be regulated by provincial assembly. It is a constitutional obligation as per the federal-parliamentary constitution of Pakistan to align the bureaucratic executive with that of political executive and then, both parts of executive must take root from the same legislature. Therefore, the provincial government and the police must take root from the same provincial assembly.

The establishment of a PPS holds the promise of several significant benefits. It can foster increased public trust in the police, enhance law and order, and pave the way for more efficient and effective policing. The PPS, being answerable only to the province, will ensure that policing is decentralized, transparent, and accountable to the people of each province. Moreover, the district police service, being the most localized tier, will play a pivotal role in the effective local government system. This system will enable policing to be tailored to the specific needs and challenges of each district, instilling a sense of optimism for a more secure and orderly future.

The current system, with the federal police service controlling provincial and district police, is riddled with inefficiencies and a lack of accountability. For instance, the PSP’s lack of answerability to a province can lead to conflicts of interest and a dearth of transparency. This situation should raise concerns and motivate us to establish the PPS, a system that ensures decentralized, transparent, and accountable policing for the people of each province. Further, the appointment of federal police officers PSPs is against the spirit of administrative federalism and provincial autonomy, and this posting subverts one-third of the Constitution of Pakistan. These postings subvert the provincial executive, financial and legislative authority.  

The Republic Policy Think Tank’s upcoming seminar is a crucial step in raising awareness about the need for a Provincial Police Service. This event is not just a platform to discuss the benefits of the PPS, but also an opportunity for the audience to actively participate in shaping the future of policing in their province. By establishing a PPS, the province can ensure that policing is tailored to its specific needs and challenges, leading to better law and order and increased public trust in the police. Your engagement in this seminar can make a significant difference in advocating for this important change.

In conclusion, the establishment of a provincial police service (PPS) in Pakistan is not just a necessity, but a solution to many of our policing issues. The current system of federal police service control over provincial and district police undermines the principle of devolution and can lead to inefficiencies and a lack of accountability. However, the PPS will lead to more efficient and effective policing, increased public trust in the police, and better law and order. The Republic Policy Think Tank’s seminar is a crucial step in raising awareness of the need for a PPS and its potential to improve law and order in Pakistan.

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