Regardless of their personal beliefs, individual policemen are sworn to uphold the law. This duty is just if the laws are aligned with the natural rights of man, but unjust if the laws infringe on these rights. In practice, police officers do not differentiate between Rule of Law and Rule by Law, so the architecture of the political system is of paramount importance for democracies. Justice is therefore intimately tied to the political system, which is a product of the social contract of a written constitution. Accordingly, police reforms must remain cognisant of the multi-ordered effects from policies, strategies, programs, and processes, which may impact the political system negatively. Police forces are not simply a peacetime instrument either. As recognised in Iraq and Afghanistan, albeit belatedly, police forces are also essential to countering insurgencies, which traditionally are aptly called police actions. Since insurgencies start off as local movements, often in remote areas, police are often the initial responders, meaning they must possess the authority and skills to confront seditious movements that are acting to subvert the local government. This is no simple task. Insurgents are often indistinguishable from common criminals because the former needs money to fund their movement. A well-developed reporting system of criminal activity is imperative in order for higher echelon investigative offices to study patterns. In most cases, experienced judgment at the local level is needed since inchoate insurgent groups may operate legally at first, so alerting the authorities of potential trouble lifts the veil of secrecy that many subversive groups need for unimpeded propagation. The philosophical background provides the rational and moral foundation of police forces and their role in society. Understanding both the need and the role of government in society establishes the rationale for law enforcement. Drawing the distinction between Rule of Law and Rule by Law underscores the potential moral contradictions of policing. That is, how it is that normal policemen can carry out evil in the name of the state. The original meaning of justice is also appropriate to apprehending the obligations of individuals and the relationship between the police and the community. Although controversial, even provocative in this era, the police cannot carry the burden alone with society eschewing its responsibilities. The doctrinal framework is essential for a police reform paradigm. Doctrine is the architectural blueprint for building sturdy institutions. It is well recognised in military doctrine, and confirmed through a decade of war, that building policing capacity is critical to stabilisation. But it is a complex process that requires a comprehensive plan, coordinated with and owned by a democratically accountable government, which considers policing requirements at all levels of government. Policing must be delivered in a way that balances security and community, political and democratic needs in culturally acceptable ways. Hiring the right people and training them in the right tasks can inoculate police organisations against corruption and bad practices; however, the right supervisors are needed as a booster shot. For the police, the distinction between a democratic government and an authoritarian government may not be that apparent, particularly if a democracy has degenerated into a tyranny or indulged in massive corruption overtime. Like the military in wartime, police forces are not likely to question openly the policies of the regime, regardless of their personal views No paradigm would be complete without practical experiences to provide the requisite feedback for adjustments. Indicators for a strong and thriving society may include a criminal justice system that is responsive to the people. Critically important in any society is ensuring the establishment of a criminal justice system. History, however, is replete with examples when such an emphasis on the rule of law or a criminal justice apparatus does not occur. Consequently, the long-term development of the society is seriously threatened. Promulgating lessons learned from our own political interferences with police working, which has impacted on the public perception of police, the first step towards erasing past failures is the realisation by the new government expected after election to ensure a politically non-partisan police accompanies reform and accountability. Just as the military protects the sovereignty of the nation-state, the police protect communities from criminal, insurgent, and terrorist actors. But, who protects the citizen from the government? The assumption of a benevolent government is by no means valid, even if it began as a democracy. For the police, the distinction between a democratic government and an authoritarian government may not be that apparent, particularly if a democracy has degenerated into a tyranny or indulged in massive corruption overtime. Like the military in wartime, police forces are not likely to question openly the policies of the regime, regardless of their personal views. Since government decisions that affect the police are generally in the form of laws, the difference between Rule of Law and Rule by Law is important, and should be a foremost priority of the new government, whosoever it may be, in Pakistan. In terms of governance, separation of powers between the central government and sub-governments as well as avoiding the traps of governments wishing to clinch control over policing diminish political corruption and political entrepreneurialism significantly, which the Pakistani populace has started to recognise immediately as injustice. No matter who forms the new government, if they wish to retain legitimacy and a law-abiding society (and thus a contented political constituency), they need to adopt political structures that allow independent but accountable policing. The writer is a retired inspector general of police and former head of Pakistan’s national counter terrorism authority Published in Daily Times, July 15th 2018.