In the year 2016 and 2017, a number of Human Right Activists and members of Civil Society had filed Constitution Petitions No. 7097 of 2016 [‘Karamat Ali & Others versus Federation of Pakistan & Others’] and Constitution Petition No. 131 of 2017 [‘Shehri – Citizens for a Better Environment & Others versus Federation of Pakistan & Others’], before the Honourable High Court of Sindh, at Karachi,seeking, inter alia, de-politicization of the Police Force by restraining the Sindh Government from subverting the autonomy and independence of the Sindh Police, whilst also challenging the illegal removal of Mr. A.D. Khowaja i.e. Inspector General of Sindh Police.
On 07.09.2017 the Honourable High Court announced its judgment in the aforementioned petitions. The Sindh Government has filed an Appeal in Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan against the aforementioned judgment.
Notably the Sindh Government continued its politicization within Police Force, as obvious from the fact that the Sindh Government sent a Representation to Federal Government for removal of Mr. AD Khowaja and refused to approve the draft “The Sindh Police (Posting, Transfer & Tenure) Rules, 2017” presented by the Inspector General Police, in violation of the aforementioned judgment.
It is pertinent to observe that throughout the aforementioned legal proceedings and even after the announcement of the aforementioned judgment, the petitioners continued their effort of safeguardingthe autonomy and independence of the Sindh Police. Details of some of the efforts made in this regard are mentioned below
On 14.01.2019, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, MianSaqibNisar, launched the Police Reforms committee report titled “Police Reforms: Way Forward” at a special ceremony which took place at the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The Report provides major recommendations to overhaul the current policing system, such as the establishment of complaint redress mechanisms at Central Police Office level, regional levels across all provinces and Islamabad Capital Territory and in the districts. The CJP, while addressing the launching ceremony, said that the report provides a roadmap to revamping the police department while keeping in view the modern challenges, and that depoliticizing the police and making it people friendly are at the core of the recommendations. He further said that a strong police force is a pre-requisite for providing a transparent and efficient justice system in any country and that the police has an important role to play in maintaining law and order, as well as, ensuring the rule of law.
The following are available for online viewing:
Petition in Sindh High Court for securing Autonomy and Independence of Sindh Police
Appeal in Supreme Court against the Sindh High Court Judgment, by the Sindh Government
Representation to Federal Government and Sindh Government
Citizens’ Charter for Police Reforms