KARACHI   -   The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Saturday managed to repeal the Police Act, 1861 and revive the Police Order 2002 amid protest and walkout by the three main opposition parties in the Sindh Assembly.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and the Grand Democratic Alliance started protesting soon after The Sindh (Repeal of The Police Act, 1861 and Revival Of Police Order, 2002) Bill, 2019 was presented for consideration. The opposition members, except the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, gathered in front of the speaker’s dice and protested against what they called a contradictory law. Later, the PTI, MQM-P and GDA walked out of the house, paving the way for unanimous adoption of the bill.

Speaking on the bill, Minister for Agriculture Muhammad Ismail Rahu, who was also a convener of 15-member select committee for further deliberation, said that they had discussed each and every clause of the bill, adding that opposition members had expressed their consent on most of the clauses. Rahu said that 20 of 22 amendments incorporated in the bill were suggested by opposition. “We want to make police department accountable to the provincial government and the people of Sindh,” he added.

The GDA lawmaker Shehryar Khan Mahar congratulated the treasury members for reviving the law of a ‘dictator’, and added that the PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardai had said all the laws passed in the dictators’ regime are black laws. “The courts have to intervene when the Sindh Assembly makes such laws,” Mahar added.

POSTING OF INSPECTOR GENERAL

“The Provincial Government shall post the Inspector General of Police out of a panel of three police officers recommended by the Federal Government and the Federal Government shall place his services at the disposal of the Provincial Government,” clause 11 of the bill reads. Another clause said that the term of office of Inspector General of Police shall be three years from the date of his posting but the Sindh Government may, repatriate, or the Federal Government may, on its own accord, recall the police chief.

PUBLIC SAFETY AND POLICE COMPLAINTS COMMISSION

As per bill, Provincial Public Safety and Police Complaints Commission in the chairpersonship of the home minster would also be established with a mandate to make recommendations to the Chief Minister for promoting integrity, efficiency and effectiveness of the Police department. 

The commission,  would also posses the powers to take steps to prevent the Police from engaging in any unlawful activity arising out of compliance with unlawful or male fide orders and to facilitate the establishment and functioning of Citizen Police Liaison Committees. It would also make recommendations to the Chief Minister for grants to various police establishments within the province as well co-ordinate the functioning of District Public Safety and Police Complaints Commissions.

Besides, the commission may ask the Chief Minister to sack the police chief as per another clause the commission may recommend to the Chief Minister repatriation of Inspector General of Police before completion of tenure of three years for unsatisfactory performance of duties.

OUTBREAK OF HIV

Separately, Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuhu said that number of HIV-positive cases rose to 550 of which 444 were children and 106 were adults in Ratodero, Larkana. Speaking on the matter of public importance in the Sindh Assembly, Dr Azra said that 16169 people were screened of HIV of which 550 were reported positive. He said that infant to children up to 15-year were reported positive in the test, adding large number of affected children were two to five years old.

The Health Minister said all-measures were being adopted as well as awareness campaigns were also being conducted. She said that the provincial government would look after the children now and take responsibility of their education and health. She also asked the opposition members not to term HIV cases as AIDS. Dr Azra said the provincial government had zero-tolerance policy against the quacks, informing that 166 clinics had been sealed and 44 were warned.