ISLAMABAD - Former and serving police officers have criticised government’s decision to make officers of District Management Group part of new police reforms committee in a move to restructure Punjab police in the wake of Sahiwal killings. Unrest prevails among officers of the Police Service of Pakistan (PAS) over the composition of police reforms committee for making officers of Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS), old DMG, part of the committee and they have termed it complete wastage of time.

Former inspectors general of police (IGPs) as well as officers of Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) including Khawaja Khalid Farooq, Shaukat Javed, and Tariq Pervez took to the Twitter after formation of the committee, last week, and argued how PAS officers could bring reforms in Punjab Police having no such experience. They also stressed that the report of Law & Justice Commission of Pakistan on police reforms recently submitted to the Supreme Court should be implemented in letter and spirit instead of wasting time in forming new committees.

Last week, Prime Minister Imran Khan had constituted a high-powered committee to suggest reforms in the Punjab police on the pattern of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and primary role was given to two PAS officers; Interior Secretary Major (retd) Azam Suleman and Principal Secretary to the PM Muhammad Azam Khan. Two other PAS officers including chief secretaries of Punjab and KP, Yousuf Naseem Khokhar and Naveed Kamran were also made part of the committee as its members. IGP Punjab Amjad Javed Saleemi and IGP KP Salahuddin Khan Mehsud have also been included in the committee.

Former IGP Punjab Khawaja Khalid Farroq, who is also former National Coordinator National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) took to the Twitter and said: “DMG will suggest police reforms. Why can’t the govt study report prepared by Law & Justice Committee under the aegis of SCP?”

Retired PSP officer Tariq Parvez, who is also former NC NACTA and Director General of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) through a Tweet said: “A new police reforms committee set up by PM, manned primarily by DMG officers and only two IGs. Interesting, the DMG officers will share their experience of Model Town massacre and how to stay untouched”.

Shaukat Javed, former Punjab IGP and ex-director general Intelligence Bureau (IB) tweeted,” “Punjab government and federal government have notified committees on police reforms. Both are heavily filled with officers of PAS. A report on the same subject under Pakistan Law and Justice Commission was submitted to CJP on January 14 which should be implemented rather wasting time on new committees.” Asif Razzak, an retired officer of Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) in a Tweet gave a reference to the PAS officers and said: “Looks no one interested in police reforms as task given to those who don’t know policing, no hope for general public to see change in police culture, they failed to deliver and serve the nation, how can they reforms other service.”

DIG and former chief of Crime Investigation Agency Karachi Dr Jamil Ahmed through one of his Tweets said: “There is definitely no need for yet another bureaucrat committee as Law & Justice Committee has almost finished the same task under the farsighted and prudent oversight of SCP.”

While announcing the police reforms committee, PM in a meeting directed the committee to formulate recommendations to depoliticize the police, purge it of corruption, and build its capacity. PM especially said that the committee should point out professional inabilities of Punjab Police so that Sahiwal like incidents could be avoided in future.

Before this, PTI government had formed two committees to reform the Punjab Police since it came into power in August this year. On September 18, it constituted the ‘Commission on Police Reforms and Implementation’ in Punjab appointing former KP IGP Nasir Khan Durrani as its head. However, Durrani resigned on October 9 soon after the Punjab government had transferred then Punjab IGP Muhammad Tahir and replaced him with Saleemi.

The government again formed another high-powered committee, appointing the Punjab home secretary as its head while Punjab police chief was made as its member. This committee also became controversial when some senior PSP officers criticised the Punjab government for appointing a bureaucrat as head of the committee to reform the police.