LAHORE: After police force of five regions of the province have already started wearing the new uniform, the Punjab police department has initiated a process to seek fresh feedback and opinion about the uniform, triggering another round of debate on the matter.
The decision to seemingly review the change in uniform has come at a time when over 80,000 employees of the Punjab police have already been issued the olive green uniform. The department had adopted this uniform in April this year during the tenure of former inspector general (IG) Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera. So far, police forces in Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Sargodha and Sheikhupura have adopted it.
According to the laid down policy, the entire Punjab police force was supposed to shift from the black and khaki uniform to the olive green one by the end of December this year.
However, three months before the deadline, IG retired Capt Arif Nawaz seems to have suddenly initiated a review of his predecessor’s decision. He has also indicated that the force may revert to the black and khaki uniform if the opinion goes in its favour.
For the purpose, the IG has constituted a high-powered committee of eight senior police officers directing it to seek feedback from the force and submit a report to him as soon as possible. A notification of the constitution of the committee – a copy of which was available with Dawn – was also issued, an official told Dawn on Monday.
“Being a large organisation, various opinions have emerged about various facets of the new uniform. In order to accommodate the majority view regarding this change, a committee is constituted to undertake a survey/analysis regarding acceptability of the opinions about the new uniform,” reads the notification.
It further states that the committee shall solicit feedback about shade, weight, pattern, comfort and outlook of the olive green uniform besides concrete recommendations whether to make amendments to the green uniform or revert to the previous uniform or to adopt any other pattern, colour, type of cloth.
Headed by Additional IG Finance and Welfare Muhammad Tahir, the committee comprises Sheikhupura Regional Police Officer Zulfiqar Hameed, Deputy IG Discipline and Inspection Shahzada Sultan, Logistics Assistant Inspector General Rai Babar, Faisalabad City Police Officer Athar Ismail, Rahim Yar Khan District Police Officer Zeeshan Asghar, Rawalpindi Superintendent of Police (SP) Syed Ali and Rajanpur SP (Investigation) Saifullah Khan.
The official said the IG’s decision has triggered an extensive debate in police circles about whether this means they would be reverting to the previous uniform.
Earlier, the Punjab police force had indulged in a similar debate when the former IG had unveiled the plan to change the uniform in the beginning of this year.
The official said the present IG’s move had cast doubt on the previous exercise of seeking feedback, analysis reports and investigations that had been undertaken before launching the new uniform. At that time, Mushtaq Sukhera had to face immense criticism from various quarters for changing the uniform instead of police’s behaviour that had been the prime concern of the public.
One of the committee members, Rai Babar, said the Central Police Office has been getting mixed reviews since the new police uniform was adopted. Most of the opinions were about the colour, pattern, conformability, weather implication and weight. The terms of reference designed by the IG were largely based on these factors, he added.
Mr Babar said recommendations of the committee would be finalised either in the beginning of the next year or in the first quarter on the basis of the feedback and opinion gathered from the force.
To a question about the impression that the police department was going to revert to the previous uniform, he said it would be premature to say anything on the matter.