LAHORE - After the incidents of Model Town massacre and Daska brutality by police, and violent protests by the lawyers’ community across the province led to a debate whether police powers given to them under Police Order, 2002, should be curtailed and district magistracy restored to avoid such tragedies in future or not.

This paper talked to different segments of the society. including lawyers, police officers, civil bureaucracy and common men on the subject. Majority was on the same page regarding curtailing police powers and having a check on them.

A secretary in the Punjab government, conditioning anonymity, said tragic incidents of police brutality increased after promulgation of Police Order 2002. He said hundreds of innocent citizens have been gunned down by different groups in Karachi and other parts of the country with the help of local police and the political parties. There are many cases of the police brutality that compel the masses to say the Police Order should be abolished.

Renowned lawyer, Abid Hasan Manto, said no law empowers police to kill innocent citizens and there is no justification of such incidents by police. He said failure to establish safety commissions after promulgation of Police Order 2002 was governments’ inefficiency. Overnight transfers and postings of the chief secretary and the IGPs on political grounds clearly indicated who was controlling them behind the scene. When the state machinery is divided, no good could be expected out of the rubbish, he held.

A senior PSP officer posted in FIA said violence, vandalism and attacks on police officers, vans and buildings by some of the demonstrators like lawyers must be condemned. He said community policing was the best alternative that was functioning in many of the countries productively, he held. Political interference in police affairs must be curtailed, he opined, adding the same has tattered the discipline of police force. When a station house officer is posted on a politician’s demand, what better would be expected from him except the Daska tragedy, he questioned. He added the Capital City District Public Safety Commission and such commissions at district level, if established, might force the police to perform well. It could direct the capital city district police officer in writing to probe a complaint of neglect by district police and take appropriate action; it could evaluate the performance of the local policing plan and serve such reports to district nazim, tehsil nazim, the provincial government and provincial public safety commission.