It was a sad day for all those people who wanted to see a depoliticized, professional and law abiding police force in Punjab. The resignation of Nasir Khan Durrani as the head Punjab Commission for Police Reforms is a big blow to the police reforms.
There were big hopes that former IG KPK police who is a reputed and upright police officer, would succeed to reform the corrupt, highly politicised and patronising police force. There were high hopes that finally Nasir Durrani would be able to change the police culture commonly known as Thana culture.
The ordinary people feared the police as it use torture, fabricated cases and illegal raids to harass and intimidate innocent people. There is wide spread and rampant corruption in the police. It is a known fact that police uses illegal means and ways to mint money from people. The reforms are necessary to make police force a people friendly.
But his resignation came as a big disappointment. His resignation is going to jeopardised the whole process of police reform. No government ever made a serious effort to reform the police. Nasir Durrani’s resignation has raised serious questions and doubts over the police reforms. It’s a victory for all those who wants to maintain this rotten, repressive colonial police system which serves only to the powerful and ruling class.
His resignation is also a huge embarrassment for the PTI government in Punjab who claimed to bring change in the province. The unnecessary interference of the PTI provincial government in the operations of Punjab police is the main reason of this resignation.
The sudden and ill-timed transfer of IGP Punjab prompted Nasir Durrani to resign. He was not happy the way new Punjab government led by chief minister Sardar Usman Buzdar is handling with police officers. It is making the lives of all the independent police officers hard and difficult who act according to the law.
The PTI government is indulging in all sort of ill practices and bad traditions of the previous PML-N government to use police and administration to make political gains. There is hardly any difference between the present and previous government on the political use of police force. The present PTI government only wants to have such police officers who obey their political masters and fulfill their wishes.
Nasir Durrani, the former Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa inspector general police (IGP), was assigned the task of introducing reforms and steer the Punjab police department out of political interference last month.
The commission was formed to rid Punjab police of political interference, grant autonomy to the Central Police Office and introduce various other reforms. This commission was given a clear task to seriously reform the police force.
The notification of the commission issued in September reads: “In pursuant to the prime minister’s vision for police reforms, for devising and recommending ways and means to provide a police force that is politically neutral, operationally autonomous, accountable and oriented towards professionalism, specialised improved service delivery and enhanced community engagement, in line with the international best practice, the Punjab government is pleased to constitute the ‘Commission on Police Reforms and Implementation’.”
This commission seems dead now after the resignation of Nasir Durrani. The reason is simple. He was capable of absorbing the pressures from all sides. The police officers are not very keen to reform the police system. They fear that their powersmight be curtailed in the reforms.
Durrani was determined to bring necessary changes in the police system. His departure has put the whole process of reforms in disarray. The business as usual will prevail. Police reforms still seems a distance dream.
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25 August, 2019