Democratising the role of the police to ensure accountability and safety for the citizens in Balochistan

26 November 2020 - Quetta, Pakistan: The professionalism of the police demands balancing the responsibilities between serving the state and the public at large, while staying responsive and accountable to the safety needs of the community. UNODC is committed to ensuring the services of the police are tailored to delivering humane performance of law enforcement functions in line with the international best practices, UN guidelines and the Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials adopted by the General Assembly, which also refers to the different aspects of accountability to the public. To this end, a sensitization workshop was organised by the UNODC’s Criminal Justice and Legal Reforms Programme in Quetta on 26 November 2020 with the primary objective to create awareness and empowerment on public safety and police accountability mechanism.

The workshop was presided over by Mr. Zia Ullah Langove, Minister of Home, Tribal Affairs and PDMA, Government of Balochistan who underscored the critical need for establishing an independent accountability and oversight mechanism towards enhancing the integrity of the police in the eyes of the general public, which also forms the basis for good governance. 

The workshop was well-attended by a cross-section of stakeholders from Police, Levies Force, Balochistan Constabulary, Prosecution and Prisons Department, Balochistan University, Bar and civil society organisations and the representatives of UNODC. The diversity of participants shared perspectives on the public oversight mechanisms that can make the police more accountable to the citizens, building their confidence and trust in the law enforcement agencies in the context of Balochistan. 

Focused discussions on the public safety oversight and accountability mechanisms and the role of an effective Police-Community Coordination (PCC) in the provincial context proposed enhancements to the Rule of Law Roadmap in Balochistan. The recommendations also outlined the role of various stakeholders and civil society towards enhancing Police-Community Coordination. The participants unanimously agreed that: 

  • effective police-community coordination would ensure transparency, accountability and improved law and order in Balochistan, which is one of the most conflict-sensitive provinces of Pakistan
  • public feedback mechanisms will improve service delivery of the police, reducing the trust deficit by the citizens in the law enforcement agencies
  • the actions and services of the law enforcement officials should be responsive to public scrutiny through a reviewing agency whether judiciary or a relevant citizen-led structure
  • public oversight mechanism and police accountability should be part of the Police law, holding the police accountable to the judicial systems along with the application of the Citizens' Right to Information (RTI) Act
  • incorporating public oversight mechanisms into the Rule of Law Roadmap in Balochistan will help towards institutionalizing the public oversight and accountability mechanisms

Mr. Zia Ullah Langove appreciated the event as a convergence platform for the government departments, UN agencies and the civil society to work towards the mutual goal of establishing ‘a peaceful and prosperous Balochistan’ as a future gateway to Pakistan. 



The Workshop on Awareness & Empowerment on Public Safety and Police Accountability Mechanism was supported by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).