Pakistani Police Governance and Accountability: Challenges and Recommendations

Athar Rashid, Inamullah Jan, Munib Ahmed


The persistence of massive corruption, a lack of accountability, departmental clashes, constitutional crisis, and a deteriorating law and order situation, particularly in the police department, are ample indicators of the country's poor governance. Pakistan has been engulfed by opinionated volatility and turbulence, resulting in the formation of a dark crevice in the country's economic growth and development. Good governance cannot be respected while there is opinionated disarray, a politician's appetite for power, and an unreformed Police Department. The current police system in Pakistan was designed by the British in 1861 to address a more diverse set of social, administrative, and political realities than the country currently portrays. Numerous national and international experts have concluded that colonial architecture is unsuitable for Pakistan. Pakistan requires comprehensive police reforms as a necessary component of the national framework, regardless of which party is in power. The public interest in reclaiming law enforcement's value has never been greater than it is today. There is growing recognition that the assignment requires concentrated effort. There can be no expectation of momentous police reforms without a continuing corporation and partnership edifice among the major players involved. A progressive and unwavering political leadership, a towering altitude of public support, and an enthused and well-led general public that demands higher standards of police performance are all necessary components of change and good governance.


Pakistan; Police; Corruption; Accountability; Local Electoral Authorities; Policing; Democracy.

Full Text:



Abbas, H. (2011). Reforming Pakistan‘s Police and Law Enforcement Infrastructure. US Institute of Peace, Washington, DC.

Abbas, H. (2012). Stabilizing Pakistan through police Reform. Asia Society.

Ahmad, J. K., Devarajan, S., Khemani, S., & Shah, S. (2005). Decentralization and service delivery. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper, (3603).

Ahmad, R. (2008). Governance, social accountability and the civil society.JOAAG, 3(1), 10-21.

Andrews, M., and A. Shah. (2002). ‘Voice Mechanisms and Local Government Fiscal Outcomes: How Does Civic Pressure and Participation Influence Public Accountability’. Processed. Washington, DC: The World Bank.

Annual Administration Report (2011). Police Headquarters Punjab, accessed May 21, 2015, Admin%20Report-2011.pdf.

Baez Camargo, C. (2015a). Communities against corruption. Assessment framework and methodological toolkit. Basel Institute on Governance Working Paper Series.

Behn, R. D. (2001). Rethinking democratic accountability. Brookings Institution Press.

Bhidal, F. Y. (2013). Social Accountability in Pakistan: Challenges, Gaps, Opportunities and the Way Forward. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 69.

Bossert, T. (1998). Analyzing the Decentralization of Health Systems in Developing Countries: Decision Space, Innovation and

Performance.’ Social Science and Medicine 47 (10): 1513–27.

Bouwen, P. (2009). The European Commission. Lobbying in the European Union: Institutions, actors, and issues, 19-38.

Bovens, M., & Curtin, D. (2010). The real world of EU accountability: what deficit?. Oxford University Press.

Brookes, S. (2012). Police and Crime Commissioners are likely to be constrained by the need to swear allegiance to a political party. British Politics and Policy at LSE.

Camargo, C. B., & Jacobs, E. (2013). Social Accountability and its Conceptual Challenges: An analytical framework. European Criminal Law Associations’ Forum working paper, 16.

Cheema, U. (2011). “KP Differs with Sindh, Balochistan on Police Order, LB Laws,” The News (Pakistan), October 25, 2011, accessed June 20, 2015,


Das, D., and Otwin, M. (2012). Challenges of policing democracies: A world perspective. Routledge.

Day, P., & Klein, R. (1987). Accountabilities: five public services (Vol. 357). Taylor & Francis

Dubnick, M. J. (2007). Sarbanes-Oxley and the search for accountable corporate governance. GovNeteJournal, 1(2), 140-72.

Elock, H. (1996). “Local Government”. In: Farnham, D. and Horton, S (eds.), Managing the New Public Services. pp. 177-199. London: MacMillan Press.

Evans, Peter, W.F. Lam, E. Heller, J. Fox, and M. Burawoz. (1996). ‘Government Action, Social Capital and Development: Creating Synergy Across the Public-PrivateDavie’. World Development Special

Section 24 (6): 1033–1132.

Fetterman, D. M., Kaftarian, S. J., &Wandersman, A. (1996).

Empowerment evaluation: Knowledge and tools for self-assessment and accountability. Sage.

Foley, Michael W., and Bob Edwards. (1996). ‘The Paradox of Civil Society’. Journal of Democracy 7 (3): 38–52.

Fox, Jonathan. (1996). ‘How Does Civil Society Thicken? The Political Construction of Social Capital in Rural Mexico’. World Development 24 (6): 1089–1103.

Fukuyama, Francis. (2001). ‘Social Capital, Civil Society and Development’. Third World Quarterly 22 (1): 7–20.


Gaventa, John, and Gregory Barrett. (2010). ‘So What Difference Does It Make? Mapping the Outcomes of Citizen Engagement’. IDS Working Paper 347.

Goetz, A. M., &Gaventa, J. (2001). Bringing citizen voice and client focus into service delivery. Brighton: Institute of Development Studie, IDS working paper. p (No. 138).

Goetz, A. M., & Jenkins, R. (2001). Hybrid forms of accountability: citizen engagement in institutions of public-sector oversight in India. Public Management Review, 3(3), 363-383.

Hart, V. (1978). Distrust and democracy: Political distrust in Britain and America. Cambridge University Press.

Heiden, P. (2011). Pakistan. ABDO. pp. 33–44. Retrieved 11 March 2015.

Imtiaz, H. (2011).TheIslam that hard-liners hate. Retrieved 11 April 2015 from

Javaid, U., & Ramazan, M. (2013). Police Order 2002: A Critique, Journal of Political Studies, 20(2), 141-160

Johnston, M. (2014). Corruption Contention and Reform. The Power of Deep Democratization. NY: Cambridge University Press.

Jones, T. M., & Wicks, A. C. (1999). Convergent stakeholder theory. Academy of management review, 24(2), 206-221.

Jones, T., Newburn, T., & Smith, D. J. (1996). Policing and the Idea of Democracy. British Journal of Criminology, 36(2), 182-198.

Joshi, A., & Houtzager, P. P. (2012). Widgets or watchdogs? Conceptual explorations in social accountability. Public Management Review, 14(2), 145-162.

Khan, S. R., Kazmi, S., & Latif, Z. (1999). The state of basic education in Pakistan: A qualitative, comparative institutional analysis. Sustainable Development Policy Institute.

Kilby, P. (2006). Accountability for empowerment: Dilemmas facing non-governmental organizations. World Development, 34(6), 951-963.

Lackey, D. P. (2006). The Good Soldier versus the Good Cop: Counterterrorism as Police Work. 66-82.‎

Loveday, B. (2005). The challenge of police reform in England and Wales.Public Money and Management, 25(5), 275-281.

Loveday, B., & Reid, A. (2003). Going local. Who should run Britain's police.

Malena, C., & Forster, R. (2004). Social Accountability An introduction to the concept and emerging practice.

Malena, C., & Forster, R. (2004). Social Accountability An introduction to the concept and emerging practice.

McCandless, H. E. (2002). A citizen's guide to public accountability: Changing the relationship between citizens and authorities. Trafford Publishing.

McGee, Rosemary, and John Gaventa. (2010). ‘Review of Impact and Effectiveness of Transparency and Accountability Initiatives’. Institute of Development Studies.


Meijer, A. J. (2004). Stakeholder accountability in an information age. In EGPA 2004 Annual Conference, Ljubljana/Slovenia (pp. 1-4).

Mohmand, S. K., & Cheema, A. (2007). Accountability failures and the decentralization of service delivery in Pakistan. IDS Bulletin, 38(1), 45-59.

Moore, M. H. (1995). Creating public value: Strategic management in government. Harvard university press.

Moore, M. H. (2000). Managing for value: Organizational strategy in for-profit, nonprofit, and governmental organizations. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 29(suppl 1), 183-208.

Mungiu-Pippidi, Alina. (2014). ‘Quantiative Report on Causes of Perfromance and Stagnation in the Global Fight against Corruption.’ ANTICORRP research consortium.

Myhill, A., Dalgleish, D., Docking, M., & Yarrow, S. (2003). The role of police authorities in public engagement. United Kingdom. Home Office.

Niaz, I. (2006). An Inquiry into the Culture of Power of the Subcontinent. Alhamra.

O’Meally, Simon C. (2013). ‘Mapping Context for Social Accountability’. The World Bank.


Park, V., &Datnow, A. (2009). Co-constructing distributed leadership: District and school connections in data-driven decision-making. School leadership and Management, 29(5), 477-494.

Pollitt, C., & Summa, H. (1997). Reflexive watchdogs? How supreme audit institutions account for themselves. Public Administration, 75(2), 313-336.

Putnam, Robert D. (1995). ‘Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital’. Journal of Democracy 6 (1): 65–78. doi:10.1353/jod.1995.0002.

Raine, J. W., & Dunstan, E. (2007). Continuing the Discussion on Community Policing, Issue 2Enhancing Accountability in Local Policing. Policing, 1(3), 327-341.

Schedler, A., Diamond, L., & Plattner, M. F. (1999). Restraining the state: conflicts and agents of accountability. The self-restraining state: Power and accountability in new democracies, 333-50.

Schillemans, T., &Bovens, M. (2004).

Horizontaleverantwoordingbijzelfstandigebestuursorganen. Governance van uitvoeringsorganisaties: Nieuwevraagstukkenvoorsturing in het publiekedomein, Apeldoorn: Kadaster, 27-37.

Schouten, Claire. (2011). ‘Social Accountability in Situations of Conflict and Fragility’. U4Brief No.19.

Sinclair, A. (1995). The chameleon of accountability: Forms and discourses.Accounting, organizations and Society, 20(2), 219-237.

Stahl, F. (2015). Social accountability: A practitioner’s handbook. Switzerland: Basel Institute of Governance.

Strøm, K., Müller, W. C., & Bergman, T. (2006). Delegation and accountability in parliamentary democracies (Vol. 42). Oxford University Press.

Suddle, M. S. (2003). Reforming Pakistan Police: An Overview. United Nations Asia.

United Nations Development Programme (2014). Human Development Report Summary, in Lloyd-Jones, T., &Rakodi, C. (Eds.). Urban livelihoods: A people-centred approach to reducing poverty. Routledge. 21–25

Watson, D., & Khan, A. Q. (2005). Capacity Building for decentralized education service delivery in Pakistan (Vol. 57). Discussion Paper.

World Bank (2001). Filipino Report Card on Pro-Poor Services: Summary. Environment and Social Development Unit, East Asia and Pacific Region. Washington: World Bank.

Yaseen, F. (2013). Social Accountability in Pakistan: Challenges, Gaps, Opportunities and the Way Forward. Working Paper no. 133, Islamabad: Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Athar Rashid; Inamullah Jan; Munib Ahmed

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Journal of South Asian Studies
ISSN: 2307-4000 (Online), 2308-7846 (Print)
© EScience Press. All Rights Reserved.