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Tuesday January 25, 2022

Claims of ending ‘thana culture’ bite the dust

November 29, 2021

Islamabad : The people who believe in crime-free and lawful atmosphere, have been ascetic and conceded that each system of government, every political party of any ideology, and all establishments have failed to change well organised and strong based ‘Thana Culture’ established on the concrete foundation of Police Act 1861. The claims of the government to end Thana Culture bite the dust.

“But it would never be abolished as it is constructive supportive for every government and politician to crush their opponents,” a retired inspector general of police, said when contacted.

The people believe in crime free and lawful atmosphere have been austere and conceded that This has been established that each system of government, every political party of any ideology and all establishments have failed to change well organised and strong based ‘Thana Culture’ established on the concrete foundation of Police Act 1861, permitting abuse of power to the uniformed police personnel.

The incidents of police brutality, financial and moral corruption, pathetic service delivery, and public dealing are being reported around the country on an almost daily basis, setting aside the question of improvement in the department’s work.

Inspector General of Police Islamabad, Qazi Jamil-ur-Rehman when contacted to know his version, said that he was already working on the issue to set the police in a straight direction.

“Reforming ‘Thana Culture’ has been a challenge for police. There have been many efforts to transform thana culture so that it can be made public friendly,” the IGP said.

As a part of this reform agenda, youth and community oversight through internship programme is aimed at addressing larger “Thana Culture” reforms, he maintained.

“The objectives of this programme include, youth and community oversight, identifying gaps in implementation in police station-related reforms, third party evaluation/assessment, citizen empowerment, enforcement of fundamental rights, and image building of police,” Qazi added.

Telling the methodology of the plan, he said that institutional arrangements with educational institutions have been made to ensure that the internship programme is owned by both the police and the institution sending its interns. The interns make an application which is screened, analysed and then the selected interns are invited for an opening ceremony. In the opening ceremony, they are conferred with arm badges after which they take the oath. The schedule of their visits to Police Stations is prepared along with with the institution. The interns are divided into smaller groups of 2-3 people per Police Station. After they visit the Police Station, they generate a report on prescribed proforma that measures all the indicators related to Police Station reforms. The duration of the internship programme is 03 weeks. The institutions mark it as community work in their evaluations. Afterward, the next generation of interns will be inducted.

The IGP said participations come through higher education institutions that show their interest to work with ICT Police. After signing MoU, number of students has agreed and the methodology stated above is followed.

The first internship programme was inaugurated on 20th November 2021, and has been received very well by the students of different institutes. They are very excited to work with Police. So far there are 45 interns deployed in different police stations of ICT. They sit at the front desk, interact with complainants and act as a bridge between community and police, the IGP concluded.

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