Brief Description: The Pakistan Forum on Democratic Policing (PFDP) was formed to advocate the agenda at national and provincial levels for constitution of a legal framework, which enshrines true aspirations of democracy within the institution of police, in order to improve the performance and enhance the accountability. The forum was officially launched at a ceremony jointly organised by groups working for democratic policing- an alliance of Rozan, CPDI, Shehri CBE, Aurat Foundation, Individual Land, Shirkat Gah, HRCP, SPARC and SPO.
The new body aims to work with representatives from Media, Legal, Academia, and Police sectors, who also participated in the ceremony. The legislators from Sindh and Balochistan assemblies also assured their full support for the passage of laws in their respective assemblies and extended their cooperation for the forum on democratic policing. Speakers on the occasion said that it was a hard reality that there was an institutional decay in the country particularly in public sector with a special reference to police.
They were of the view that performance of institutions was in decline, recruitment processes were polluted with political influences and corruption, working conditions were poor and accountability mechanisms were almost non-existent. They said the institution of police was not an exception in the given situation. Sindh Assembly Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza said the democratic parties always took civil society on board for legislations and looked forward for their further engagement with the relevant organisations. She stressed the need on implementation of all the legislations.
Raheela Durrani, the Balochistan minister for prosecution, reminded the participants that while the institution of police and its performance were much as the same as it was in the past, the complaints against it were on the rise. Sharing experiences from her visits to different areas, she stressed monitoring of police for their internal reformation. Earlier, Babar Bashir of Rozan also shared the core idea of the forum which included organisation of policy dialogues, provision of technical assistance on police reforms, advocacy for police reforms and building partnership with concerned groups. He specifically stressed the need for a proper research and analysis framework for identifying gaps and needs toward democratic policing. Taking part in the discussion, Islamabad police DIG Ehsan Sadiq said that ample resources must be provided for the reformation of police. He appreciated the forum’s initiative by reminding the audience that getting engaged with police was a basic right of every citizen and police should be made citizen-centric and service oriented.
The speakers at the ceremony emphasised that effective, efficient and public-friendly police was a fundamental right of citizens. It was also discussed that the current policing was not meeting the expectations of the community and necessary amendments in the overall frame work policing needed to made and realigned according to the demands of policing today. The working group also formulated a charter of demands to reform the policing sector in Pakistan. The group specifically mentioned the need for operational and financial responsibility, accountability, monitoring and evaluation of targets and performance, women in policing, and the image-building of police. The Working on Democratic Policing was formulated in June 2011 to collectively put efforts to make police an instrument for the protection and prevention of crime. The initial process was later moved in Sindh and Balochistan vibrantly by the last quarter of this year.