Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) may make police reforms, at least the ones introduced in KP, as a possible part of its party manifesto for the upcoming elections. While Imran’s latest conference in Karachi was a criticism of the Punjab and Sindh governments for using police for their political gains, his advice for them was to learn from KP. While the PTI chairman in certainly right in pointing out that our police structure needs reform, simply “learning from KP” is not the solution.
Police reform may very well become an important policy point in the coming elections. Indications are that PTI will use its reforms in KP police as political sloganeering as there is widespread anger against police in the provinces of Punjab and KP following incidents like the recent child abuse scandal and extrajudicial killings. If PTI does so, the move will help the party to gain some extra support in these provinces. However, reforming the out-dated police procedures, modernising their methods used and enhancing their performance should be a nationwide priority. All political parties need to divert their attention to the police too, as internal security is mostly dependent on police force.
However, just the intent to reform is not enough to convince people of the land to vote for PTI. To gain people’s support, Imran Khan and his party will need to create something resembling an actual electoral policy for police reform nationally. Merely repeating that KP is doing better than the rest of the provinces is not enough to convince people in Punjab and Sindh to give his party their mandate. PTI Chairman’s discussion must go beyond this frequently repeated mantra. The upcoming elections are just a few months away. Imran needs to make teams of his party members to identify issues and provide solutions.