Communication Research Strategies (CRS) has launched the Islamabad series of ‘Police Media Sath Sath’ Webinars focused on maturing the relationship between police and media and paving the way for police reform in Pakistan.
Zafarullah Khan, a well known expert in sociology of Internet and trainer on civic issues, presided the session attended by renowned journalists, TV analysts, bloggers, lawyers and editors. Amir Ghauri, Editor of famed daily English newspaper pointed out that media is solely relies on the First Information Report (FIR) provided by the Police and lacks investigative training to go beyond the FIR. He argued that the police need to develop a robust information system that follows international best practices.
Shakeel Anjum and Shakeel Qaraar, two of the most reputed names in crime investigative stories, highlighted the limitations of investigative journalism in Pakistan. They discussed the roots of long standing antagonistic relationship between police and media in detail.
Zohaib Ranjha, Assistant Superintendent of Police, acknowledged the grievances of Media and recognized the need of a platform where media and police can work together. Qamar Cheema, a security analyst, emphasized on understanding and dealing with rapid transformation of digital news landscape with influence of mega corporations like Google and Facebook.
Ummar Ziaddun, lawyer and criminology teacher mull over the unresolved legal obstructions in police law and urgency to resolve them for better policing. He also pointed out colonial roots of police act of 1861 and need of uniformity in various policing hierarchical structures.
Samina Naz, a communication consultant, shared her ideas about better story telling about police in context of digital media. Aniq Zafar, CEO of CRS concluded the discussion with commitment from participants that they will make strong alliances around the programme ‘Police Awam Sath Sath’, an initiative that has worked extensively on police reforms for past some years now. He also announced a story writing competition on police advocacy that will be launched across Pakistan.