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Pakistan must introduce police reforms to increase its efficacy: Research

Washington, Sun, 22 Jul 2012 ANI

Washington, July 22 (ANI): Pakistan needs to reform its police force, providing it with training, equipment and backing it with political to make it more effective, a new study has said.

A commission set up by the New York-based Asia Society, called for Pakistan to step up police training and carry out structural reforms to boost their skills and reduce corruption, reports The News.

"High crime rates throughout the country, relatively low conviction rates of prisoners on trial and heightened concerns about instability spilling over from Afghanistan indicate that there is an urgent and critical need to invest in and reform Pakistan's law enforcement infrastructure," the report said.

Pakistan's police system "simply is not structured to reward good behavior, as merit-based opportunities for professional advancement are scarce, low pay is the norm and a lack of support and resources compels even many well-intentioned officers to misuse their authority in order to survive," the report said.

Hassan Abbas, the commission's project director and professor at the National Defense University in Washington, said international assistance could help. Britain and the United States have both been assisting police reform.

"However, the overall funding for these projects is no match for the resources provided to Pakistan for anti-terrorism operations throughout the last decade, very little (if any) of which ever reached police institutions because it was so largely geared toward the defense sector," he said.

Pakistan has received more than 18 billion dollars in U.S. aid, mostly for its military, since it agreed to support the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The report also called for training on protecting the rights of women, children and minorities and efforts to recruit more women police officers.

The report said that police should be put in charge of investigating charges of extrajudicial killings in Balochistan and that Pakistan should restrict the roles there of the paramilitary Frontier Corps and intelligence agencies. (ANI)

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