In a strange move, Prime Minister Imran Khan has issued new terms of reference (ToR) for a committee formed to suggest amendments in KP Police Act 2017 and Punjab police rules.
The new terms of reference have raised eyebrows, as according to the officials in the review committee, it will be a move to undo the sovereignty of the KP police department.
During its previous term in the KP, the PTI government amended the Police Act 1861 to free it from political influence – something PM Khan counts as one of the significant achievements in KP.
However, the new terms of references, issued by the principal secretary to Prime Minister Azam Khan, have reportedly attempted to undo it.
A senior official in the review body believes that the new ToR for the police force of both provinces will make them “a strong arm of the government rather than a public-serving institution.”
The official claims that the new terms of reference suggest that the government wants more influence on the police force.
According to the official, the new ToR notified for the review committee has excluded the words “operationally and politically independent police,” replacing them with “police for the government.”
“Appropriate provisions for the use of police by the government for implementation of laws/policies and maintenance of law and order in the interest of good governance,” read one of the ToR issued by the PM Secretariat for the committee.
The government has appointed Interior secretary retired Maj Azam Suleman as chairman of the seven-member committee.
The committee also includes chief secretary of Punjab Yousuf Naseem Khokhar, IGP Punjab Amjad Javed Saleemi, IGP KP Salahuddin Khan Mehsud, the director general of the national police bureau, the law secretary of Punjab and the home secretary of KP.
He was of the opinion that the new ToR would create controversy and if implemented, will destroy the image of police in KP.