LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that positive change in Thana culture is imperative for restoring the confidence of people in police as well as helping the oppressed and it is only possible when DSP, SHO and Thana muharrar have fear of their accountability. According to a handout issued on Sunday, the CM was presiding over a high-level meeting to improve the performance of the police and change in Thana culture at Chief Ministers Secretariat. The meeting which lasted for more than four hours was attended by Provincial Minister for Law, Rana Sanaullah Khan, Members Provincial Assembly Col (r) Shujja Khanzada, Dr Farrukh Javaid, Chief Secretary, IG Police, Home Secretary, Secretary Prosecution and other concerned officers. Inspector General of Police Tariq Saleem Dogar gave a detailed briefing for improving the performance of police, provision of justice to the people and change in Thana culture. He said police stations would have to be made the source of provision of justice and peace instead of symbol of terror and excesses for common man. He said besides strict system of accountability and inspection for change in Thana culture and purging the police force of black sheep, the public service spirited persons will have to be recruited in police. He said besides increase in the salaries of the police, all other facilities have been provided to it and now protection of life an& property of the people, curbing the crimes, change in Thana culture and becoming protector of citizens in real sense is its responsibility. The CM said now he wants results from police and he himself will preside over a meeting every month to review the performance of police and change in Thana culture. Shahbaz said people have great expectations from police and it should leave no stone unturned for coming up to their expectations. He said whatever resources should be provided to the police but unless the Thana culture will be changed, the confidence of common man in police will not be restored. He said that if police is performing its duties efficiently and the system is fully vibrant, then ghundas and anti-social elements will not dare to play with the life and property of the innocent citizens. Mentioning the Pasroor incident, he said that a former Naib Nazim kept a labourer in his torture cell for 11 days and tortured him to death. After his visit to Pasroor, police started action and now the accused has been arrested, added the chief minister. Was it not the responsibility of concerned police station and police officers, he questioned. Had the police taken action against the accused involved in more than 50 cases including murder, then a labourer and other innocent citizens would not have to face his cruelties, he added. The CM said such accused are a stigma on the face of the society and those police officers favouring such criminals deserve no leniency. He said good governance has been promoted in the province and besides making all recruitments on merit, police has been made free of political interference. Occurrence of such incidents in these circumstances is lamentable, he added. He said that police should ensure provision of justice to every citizen without any discrimination. He said that training is utmost important for improving the performance of police, therefore, officers and instructors having excellent career should be posted in all training institutions. He also directed to enhance the training period of police officials from six months to one year in Elite Training School and contacting the federal government for declaring field posting of the officers posted in training institutions of the police. The CM said a comprehensive system should be evolved for reviewing the performance of the police officers and their annual confidential reports should also reflect their performance in the real sense. It is regrettable that those DSPs and inspectors against whom action has been taken on the basis of corruption and inefficiency, senior officers have written their ACRs very good, he added. He said that Chief Secretary should evolve such a system with regard to ACRs and visits of police officers, which should not only help change in Thana culture but the problems of the people should also be redressed. Taking strict notice of escaping of accused from police custody he said that such incidents are impossible without connivance of police and the police officials involved in such incidents should be awarded deterrent punishment. He said that elimination of touts is essential for change in Thana culture, therefore, a vigorous campaign should be launched against them. He also agreed to the proposal of giving powers to police officers under anti-corruption rules under which DPOs will have powers to arrest the corrupt officials. He directed to constitute a special committee headed by Rana Sanaullah which will submit its recommendations after reviewing police matters. FIRs, period of posting of SHOs, District Public Safety Commission, Citizen Police Liaison Committee, change of investigation, career planning for promotion of police officials and giving powers to police officers under anti-corruption rules and other matters. The CM said reformation of obsolete system and purging the police department of corrupt officials will have to be made for change in Thana culture and steps should be taken for recruitment of five hundred inspectors through Public Service Commission in this regard whereas, career planning should be made for promotion in various cadres in police department. He also gave permission for recruitment of legal inspectors through Public Service Commission. The CM directed that all regional and district police officers of the province should hold open courts at various places twice a week and keep the doors of their offices open from 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm for common man in other days. He said that the open courts should be purposeful and there should be no entry of touts. He said that all district police officers should reach the site of incidents of murder dacoity and rape cases, and in case, they could not reach due to some official engagements, then the officers of SP rank should reach there. He said that in case of serious incidents, regional police officers should also reach on the spot. He said that it will reduce gap between police and the people and restore confidence. He said that Inspector General of Police should also hold maximum courts in the areas of more crimes. He also directed Inspector General Prisons to give briefing next week with regard to immediately setting right the affairs of jails and steps taken in this regard.