PESHAWAR, Jan.24 (Pakistan Point News - APP - 24th Jan, 2017 ) : Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Tuesday passed KP Police Bill 2016 to grant operational and financial autonomies and abolish political interference in the police force. The draft of the bill approved by the select committee of the house under the chairmanship of Chief Minister was moved by the Provincial Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Imtiaz Shahid Quereshi in the house. After the moving of the bill, the Leader of Opposition, Maulana Lutf-ur-Rehman took the floor and said that their basic objection to the legislation is that the bill had challenged the provincial autonomy.
He said that powers granted to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) under the bill are even more than the provincial secretaries. Under the existing law, the opposition said the posting and transfers of police officers from Grade-17 to Grade 21 were prerogatives of the chief minister, but now it will go the domain of the provincial police chief. He said that under the powers devolved to the province under 18th Constitutional Amendment, only the reformation the police stations and resolution of their problems could bring improvement.
He rejected the arguments of the provincial government for taking credit of the de-politicizing of police as totally incorrect as they are bent upon making legislation against the law and provincial rights. The new law, he said will re-transfer powers from the province to centre. The opposition leader clarified that they have no interest in the postings and transfers, but the transferring of their powers to the office of police chief is against the spirit of provincial autonomy and the very spirit of 18th constitutional amendment.
Aurangzeb Nalotha, the parliamentary leader of PML-N said that the bill introduced in the house is in the interest of no political party and urged the government against the passage of legislation in haste. He called for holding clause-wise debate over the bill to bring further improvement in it. He said that if the government accepts our different of point of view in the interest of the province, then it instead of creating hurdles in the provincial autonomy should accept it.
Sardar Hussain Babak, the parliamentary leader of ANP thanked Speaker for giving them opportunity to discuss the bill on the select committee. He said that under the law an individual is being granted all operational and financial powers and its instead of improvement its implementation will increase difficulties. He said that the under law, the provincial government should have given service structure for police and should have granted financial, operational and administrative powers to police stations.
Fakhare Azam Wazir of PPP termed the draft bill repugnant to Articles 142 and 242 of the constitution and stressed need for the establishment of the supremacy of law and rights of the people. This right, he said has been granted to chief minister, but he himself is expressing no trust in himself. The matter, he said should have been made part of the rules and regulations, but not given constitutional shape. Provincial Minister for Mineral Development, Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli while speaking in favour of the Police Bill 2016 said that all stakeholders have been taken on board in this regard.
She said that they are interested in the rule of law and sans granting powers, the performance of no one could be improved. She dispelled the impression that the law is individual specific, as the particular person is going to retire from service next month. She stressed for the strengthening of institutions and positively taking of the law. She requested the opposition to withdraw its decent to the bill. Responding to the criticism of the opposition, the Chief Minister Pervez Khattak said that in select committee meetings consensus was developed on majority of the 148 amendments in the original draft of the bill.
He said that several amendments proposed by the opposition have been included in the bill. He said their responsibility is legislation and its implementation and for this purpose, we are required to make system and institutions. He said that no improvement could be brought till the abolition of political interference and supremacy of merit. The chief minister said that he had not interfered in police and hand granted them autonomy to bring them out of the slavery.
He said that they had kept check on police and have given powers to District Safety Commission for filing cases against police whenever required. Similarly, he said there are also divisional and provincial safety commissions, which also includes members from opposition benches. In case of the complaints of excess, he can refer the chief minister can refer the matter to provincial police chief, provincial safety commission, or can constitute special committee to probe the matter. Later, the Speaker, put the Police Bill 2016 to vote and the house adopted it with majority.