Gilgit-Baltistan:NA body for Screening, Mindset Tests in Police Department

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ISLAMABAD (DT): Noting that the killing of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer at the hands of his own police guard tarnished the image of police in the international community, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights on Thursday directed all provincial inspector generals (IGs) to properly check mindset of applicants before induction in police department.

The committee Chairman, Riaz Fatyana, issued these directions while chairing a committee meeting on Thursday at the Parliament House.

The committee observed that the image of Punjab and Sindh police was deteriorating, whereas Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police was relatively better. He stressed the need for change in police mindset and ‘Thana Culture’. The committee regretted that police officials had been found involved in kidnapping, dacoity and others unlawful activities.

It directed the four IGs to arrange screening tests and inspection of past records of applicants to prevent incidents like the killing of Salmaan Taseer.

The committee was appraised of the gang rape of an innocent girl by policemen in Sheikhupura, upon which the committee strongly condemned the atrocious act and showed serious concern over the prevailing attitude and reputation of police department.

The committee directed Sheikhupura district police officer (DPO) to present a complete report on the issues within ten days. It said that psychological and capacity-building classes for the police at gross roots level should be started.

The Sindh additional inspector general of police briefed the committee regarding the Fakhra Younas case and stated that the witness had become hostile because the accused were released by the court in 2003. The committee questioned if a witness becomes hostile then who would take the responsibility of pursing the case. The committee directed the Ministry of Law to provide suggestions in this regard and said if necessary then appropriate legislation will be carried out.

The committee also termed the announcement of US bounty against Jamaatu Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed totally unjust and violative of international human rights. He demanded from Ministry of Foreign Affairs to submit a detail report about the case.

The Ministry of Human Rights secretary briefed the committee regarding the budget 2012-13 for the ministry. The committee constituted a sub-committee under the convenership of Riaz Fatyana to probe the issue of restructuring of the ministry.

MNA Kishwar Zehra pointed out ethnic violence in Karachi and sectarian violence in Gilgit-Baltistan and suggested that these issues might be included in the agenda of the next meeting of the standing committee. The committee also decided to invite the finance secretary and Planning Division secretary for a briefing on the issue of development budget of the ministry in its next meeting.

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