A report by the Asia Society Independent Commission on Pakistan Police Reform finds that Pakistan’s efforts to combat crime and counter terrorist activities are being outpaced by the innovation and agility of criminal networks and terrorist organizations. Without comprehensive reform of the legal framework governing police action, the police force as an institution, Pakistan’s law enforcement strategy, and interagency and international coordination, Pakistan’s progress toward political stability and economic security will be limited. The report, Stabilizing Pakistan through Police Reform, is the result of an unprecedented convening of law enforcement and legal experts in Pakistan and the U.S. led by Asia Society Senior Advisor Hassan Abbas.
According to the report, a lack of resources, poor training, insufficient and outmoded equipment, and political manipulation pose difficulties to the police force as it works to maintain law and order. To be successful, reforms must aim to improve police technology, personnel, training, and intelligence capability. A well-defined national counterterrorism strategy is essential to establishing a clearer role for the police in overseeing internal security. Increased international support will be useful in the spheres of technical assistance, training, and modern equipment.
Stabilizing Pakistan through Police Reform explores aspects of reform that are crucial for jump-starting this process and highlights the obstacles that have derailed previous efforts. Contributors assess the current state of Pakistan’s police force and offer recommendations for enhancing the institutional capacity needed to check the growth of organized crime and effectively conduct critical counterterrorism operations throughout the country.
The launch of the report was accompanied by panel discussions on July 24, 2012 at Asia Society New York and July 25, 2012 in Washington, D.C. at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in partnership with the Middle East Institute. Additional launch events will be held in Pakistan from July 27 to 31.
For more information on Asia Society's work on Pakistan, see our Study Group Report, "Pakistan 2020: A Vision for Building a Better Future".
Related Links and News
"Challenges to Policing Terrorism in Pakistan," Police Foundation Report, April 2013
"In Pakistan underworld, a cop is said to be a king," Associated Press, 30 Mar 2013
"Reforming the Police," The Express Tribune, 17 Feb 2012
"Pakistan failed over implementing police reforms: ASIC," Online International News Network, 11 Nov 2012
"Pakistan sends former Taliban fighters to militant rehab," LA Times, 12 Oct 2012
"Mission Impossible," Dawn, 29 Sept 2012
"Missing Link," The News, 4 Aug 2012
"Special Report: Can Pakistan Be Stabilized Through Police Reform?," The Express Tribune, 3 Aug 2012
"Reforming Pakistani Police," (Review Article by Saeed Shafqat), Centre for Public Policy & Governance, July 2012
"Move Over Military: Police and Counterterrorism in Pakistan," Foreign Policy, 24 July 2012
"Strong Pakistani Police Cited as Key to Stability," Voice of America, 24 July 2012
"Pakistan Police Needs Reforms: Asia Society," Jang, 23 July 2012
"Study Says Pakistan Must Revamp Police," AFP, 21 July 2012
"Pakistan is Facing Serious Challenges in Law Enforcement," BBC Urdu, 20 July 2012
"Political Pressure on Police is a Big Issue," (Interview with Hassan Abbas by Nosheen Abbas), BBC Urdu, 20 July 2012
"Effective Policing is Key to Fighting Terrorism," Asia Society, 31 May 2012
"What Post-Osama Pakistan Really Needs: Police Reform," Asia Society, 2 May 2012
Members, Independent Commission on Pakistan Police Reform*
Hassan Abbas (Project Director), Senior Advisor, Asia Society; Professor, College of International Security Affairs at National Defense University
Iftikhar Ahmed, Former Inspector General of Police, Islamabad
Aitzaz Ahsan, Member, Senate of Pakistan; Former Interior Minister, Federal Government of Pakistan (1988-90); former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association
Arif Alikhan, Former Distinguished Professor of Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, National Defense University; Former Assistant Secretary for Policy Development, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Hasan Asad Alvi, Chief Security Officer of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Islamabad
Mohib Asad, Former Director General of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)
Brigadier Syed Shafqat Asghar, Serving Pakistan Army officer and currently visiting faculty member at the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University
Andrew Carpenter, Chief, Strategic Policy and Development Section, Police Division, Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), United Nations
Zulfikar Hameed, Assistant Inspector General of Police Administration, Punjab
Syed Ejaz Hussain, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Punjab
Tahira Khan, Scholar of South Asian studies
Tariq Khosa, Advisor on Rule of Law and Criminal Justice, United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC); Former Inspector General of Police in Baluchistan
Roger B. Myerson, Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago.
Tariq Pervez, Former Director General of Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Authority (FIA) and former Chairman of Pakistan’s National Counterterrorism Authority (NACTA)
Amir Rana, Director, Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), Islamabad
Afzal Ali Shigri, Former Inspector General of Police, Sindh
Shoaib Suddle, Federal Tax Ombudsman of Pakistan and Former Inspector General of Police, Sindh
Muhammad Tahir, Former Senior Superintendent of Police, Peshawar and currently Humphrey Fellow at the University of Minnesota
Sohail Habib Tajik, Former Senior Superintendent of Police in Rahim Yar Khan (Punjab)
Sheikh Muhammad Umar, Currently Counsellor, Community Affairs, Embassy of Pakistan; and former Senior Superintendent of Police in Sindh
Ahmed Ali Aafani, Assistant Director, Federal Investigation Authority (FIA)
Humayun Tarar, Member of Pakistan’s police force; Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow, Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Zamir Haider, Journalist, Dunya News
Johan Kharabi, Senior Program Officer, Global Policy Programs, Asia Society
Nida Naqvi (Project Co-editor)
*Commission members are participating in their individual capacities.