PESHAWAR: Inayatullah Khan, Senior Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, during a public forum on police reforms has said reforms in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Police were crucial owing to challenges of war-on-terror and realizing the counter-terrorism role of Police. The endeavor aims to tackle the trust deficit between public and police, help KP Police become an accountable and community-focused police force, the minister said. Faisal Shehzad, SSP Investigation, Peshawar and former KP Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai were also present in the function organized in Peshawar Press Club. The forum was attended by the members of community with diverse backgrounds including lawyers, local government representatives, media, and academia and youth representatives. The forum was part of the project “Ulasi Police” an awareness and advocacy campaign undertaken by the Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) – as part of USAID Small Grants and Ambassadors’ Fund Program – to strengthen the rule of law in KP province by promoting and disseminating the significant police reforms aimed at incorporating local communities’ policing needs and international human rights standards. The idea was to reform KP police into an operationally autonomous organization which, at the same time, is democratically controlled. One of the top considerations for police reforms was easy access to justice for average citizen. The former KP Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai praised the sacrifices made by the KP police – going above and beyond the call of their duty – are commendable and should be acknowledged by the public. “We are proud of police and appreciate how it is performing better than other provinces”, he added. Shaukat Yousafzai said that the police in KP have been completely de-politicized and professionalized to meet the formidable contemporary challenges facing the province today. “We are glad that the people of the province today fearlessly interact with the police and have friendly relations”, he maintained. Faisal Shehzad said that it was important to understand the post 2008 situation in KP and unprecedented challenges of law and order which led to the massive reformation in Police. It is a unique force which, at the same time, has to protect their lives and perform their duties. While talking about the Public Liaison Council, he said that the mechanism has helped police in controlling crimes and collecting the critical public feedback for improving its services. He said that the Dispute Resolution Councils (DRCs), an alternate dispute mechanism adopted by the KP has not only inspired the other provinces but other countries as well. This system has reduced the burden of cases on both the police and judiciary, and has relieved the poor who can’t afford the formalities of legal justice system. He noted that the initiatives like Identity Verification System (IVS), Vehicle Verification System (VVS) and Criminal Record Verification System (CRVS) are at the core of technological innovations as part of police reforms, and have not only helped the police in controlling crimes but also facilitated the public. He also mentioned the newly established City Patrol Force which was also monitoring the activities of convicts. The virtues of Police Access Service (PAS) are the accessibility of top police officials within short span of time. The endeavors also aimed to provide relieving environment to the incoming complainants unlike the distressing environment previously. Capacity building of KP police has a special significance in police reforms. Several specialized schools have been established in this regard; training the selected police officials from almost all the police departments on mandatory courses.