ISLAMABAD-The long demanded police reforms face functional obstructions in addition to structural and legislative loopholes such as the colonial police act of 1861 still being a basic source, participants said during a webinar session of ‘Police Media Sath Sath’ series in Islamabad.

Communication Research Strategies (CRS) who has successfully arranged similar webinars across the country, concluded their activities in Islamabad but not without creating a network of senior journalists, academicians, civil society and lawyers which will carry forward the agenda of ‘Police Awam Sath Sath,’ programme that’s advocating for police reforms in Pakistan.

In addition to Geo, The News, 92 News, Express News, K2, 24 News, Daily Times and The Nation, representatives from civil society and universities were also present as a standard diversity norm of ‘PMSS’ series. The traditional relationship of police and media was discussed in detail while senior participants also chalked out a reform agenda. The previous reform efforts were also discussed in addition to the main factors behind their lack of implementation.

The compatibility of various developmental campaigns designed by international aid agencies around police were discussed in addition to role of ever changing digital news landscape and digital laws like Right to Information (RTI). It was pointed out by the participants that a serious communication gap exists between police and representatives of digital media. “It becomes difficult to obtain up to date data sets for analytics especially from rural police stations, and this communication hitch should be addressed so digital media can complement efforts of the police as far as evidence based research and reporting is concerned,” said a digital right activist.

Zafarullah Khan a prominent civic education specialist and Aniq Zafar CEO, CRS moderated the 90-minute long session. They also encouraged participants to be part of the story competition on police reforms launched to compliment said advocacy initiatives.