By Hassan Abbas
An efficient, well-functioning civilian police service is critical to counterinsurgency and counterterrorism efforts in Pakistan now and in the future. At the same time, in order to improve its public image and credibility, Pakistan’s police force must work to address rising crime rates and the deteriorating law-and-order situation. Over the past year, I have been directing an Asia Society project focused on these issues as well as other related security challenges facing Pakistan, with an eye toward evaluating the country’s potential for police reform.
Throughout this process, I have been traveling to various parts of Pakistan to conduct interviews with police officials and law enforcement experts. Based on these interactions, Asia Society established an independent commission comprised of 19 leading experts in Pakistan and the United States to think through ways to strengthen security sector reform efforts. Commission members, including some of Pakistan’s most senior and renowned police officers, are drawing on their extensive policing experiences in the country to offer analyses and recommendations on a range of topics related to security sector reform.
Asia Society will release the project’s culminating report in July 2012, with launch events scheduled in New York (July 24); Washington, D.C. (July 25); and Pakistan (dates to be confirmed). The report assesses the current state of Pakistan’s police force, puts forward recommendations for enhancing the institutional capacity needed to check the growth of organized crime and effectively conduct counterterrorism operations throughout the country, and suggests metrics to best gauge success and progress. Various models and their relevance to the situation in Pakistan are also explored.
Here is a preview of some preliminary findings:
For more information about the Asia Society Independent Commission on Pakistan Police Reform, click here.
Hassan Abbas is a Senior Advisor at Asia Society and a Professor at National Defense University.