The Police Act of 1861 remained applicable in Pakistan as a central law till it was replaced with the centrally promulgated Police Order of 2002 which came into effect on 14 August 2002. It should be noted, however, that notwithstanding the introduction of the Order, no new rules for the police were ever implemented.
The Police Order, 2002, like its predecessor, places the superintendence of provincial police establishments in the hands of provincial governments. There is a general understanding that police legislation ion is a provincial subject and it is at the provincial level that legislation on police needs to be passed.
However this is the reason that the Police Order 2002, which is a federal legislation introduced by President Musharraf, was met with sharp reluctance. The Order lacked legitimacy, since it was perceived by the provinces as an intrusion by Musharraf in what was a matter of provincial concern. The Police Order 2002 was seen by many as an effort to diminish the power of the provinces and strengthen that of Musharraf.
As a result of backlash from provinces, bureaucracy, and the policing community, the 2002 reforms were curtailed by amendments passed between 2004 and 2007. In four years, 8 ordinances were passed, introducing scores of substantive amendments and hundreds of minor amendments. Most notably, the Police Order (Amendment) Ordinance, 2004, amended or replaced 73 of the 187 Articles found in the original Police Order 2002. The amendments caused considerable confusion and a serious loss of efficiency.
Also, Sindh and Balochistan have actually brought back the 1861 Police Act. The rollback of the Order, and the conflict between the 1861 Act and recent amendments to the CrPC (such as dilution of the post of executive magistracy) has created a legal vacuum at a time when the police are being called upon to play an increasing role in the battle against terrorism.
The Pakistan Police Structure
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