On February 9, 2011, USIP launched a new Special Report entitled "Reforming Pakistan's Police and Law Enforcement Infrastructure: Is It Too Flawed to Fix?" Panelists examined the obstacles to reform and highlighted the importance of civilian law enforcement in Pakistan in light of the challenges the country faces.

Pakistan faces terrorist threats from various militant outfits operating within its territory. The state's counterterrorism strategy is largely focused on a military response despite widespread understanding that a broader and more holistic approach is needed. One major constraining factor, especially in the country's heartland, is the weakness of civilian law enforcement agencies, particularly the police. Experts increasingly caution that this fundamental weakness may prevent Pakistan from quelling militancy for a long time to come. Moreover, the deterioration in the rule of law in large parts of rural Pakistan has enabled various terrorist, extremist and criminal groups to operate with relative impunity.

On February 9, 2011, USIP convened a panel discussion to mark the launch of a new USIP Special Report on the need for a well-trained civilian law enforcement apparatus in Pakistan. In the report, "Reforming Pakistan's Police and Law Enforcement Infrastructure: Is It Too Flawed to Fix?", author Hassan Abbas investigates the current state of Pakistan's law enforcement sector in context of rising crime and violence in Pakistan. The Special Report evaluates the obstacles to reform and considers both traditional and innovative reform options. Panelists highlighted the importance of civilian law enforcement in contexts such as Pakistan in light of the challenges the country faces.

Speakers

  • Hassan Abbas, panelist
    Quaid-i-Azam Chair Professor, South Asia Institute
    Columbia University
  • Hasan Alvi, panelist
    Pakistan Police Officer
    Masters Candidate at Harvard Kennedy School
  • Robert M . Perito, panelist
    Director, Security Sector Governance Center, Centers of Innovation
    U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Moeed Yusuf, moderator
    South Asia Adviser
    U.S. Institute of Peace

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