Law enforcement in Pakistan

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Law enforcement in Pakistan (Urdu: ادارہ ہائی نفاذِ قانون، پاکستان) is one of the three main components of the criminal justice system of Pakistan, alongside the judiciary and the prisons.[1][2] The country has a mix of federal, provincial and territorial police forces with both general and specialised functions, but the senior ranks of all the provincial forces and most of the federal ones are manned by members of the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP). The PSP is one of the most prestigious parts of the Central Superior Services, Pakistan's main civil service organisation.[3][2][1] Federal law enforcement agencies are generally overseen by the Ministry of Interior of the Government of Pakistan, while provincial police forces are overseen by a department of the government of that province.

Federal police agencies[edit]

Some of the below agencies are part of the paramilitary forces of Pakistan, while others are law enforcement divisions of specialised government departments. Not included is the Pakistan Army Corps of Military Police, which only has jurisdiction over military personnel.

  • Anti-Narcotics Force (3,100 personnel) is tasked with combating narcotics smuggling and use within Pakistan.
  • The Federal Investigation Agency is a border control, counter-intelligence and security agency under the Interior Ministry, tasked with investigative jurisdiction on undertaking operations against terrorism, espionage, federal crimes, fascism, smuggling as well as infringement and other specific crimes.[4]
  • The National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) is a coordination and planning body bringing together many organisations whose remits cover counter-terrorism. They are responsible for domestic and international liaison, creating short and long term strategies and action plans, and carrying out research with the aim of countering terrorism.
  • National Highways and Motorway Police is responsible for enforcement of traffic and safety laws, security and recovery on the National Highways and Motorway network. The NH&MP use SUVs, cars and heavy motorbikes for patrols, and speed cameras for enforcing speed limits.
  • National Police Bureau acts as a think tank for the Ministry of Interior to shape police reforms and policies.
  • Pakistan Coast Guard (7,000 personnel) is a paramilitary force operating along the coast of Pakistan.
  • Pakistan Federal Police

Islamabad Capital Territory[edit]

The Capital Territory Police is the ordinary police force for the Islamabad Capital Territory. Because of the city's status, its police force is under the remit of the Government of Pakistan. It includes the Islamabad Traffic Police.

Provincial and territorial police[edit]

An officer of Elite Police of the Punjab Police
An officer of the Sindh Police

The four provinces of Pakistan (Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Balochistan) each have their own police force, organised to suit the challenges of that locality, with their own specialised and elite units. Each police force has a Commissioner of Police appointed as Inspector-General who is a senior officer from the Police Service of Pakistan.[6] Some provincial police forces are routinely supported by federal paramilitary units operating in that area. All provincial police forces contain a Counter Terrorism Department.

The traditional uniform of Pakistani provincial police officers is a black shirt with tan trousers. In 2017, police in Punjab transitioned to an olive green uniform, but reverted to the traditional uniform in 2019.[7] In 2020, all provinces decided to adopt the uniform worn in Islamabad - light blue or white shirts with dark blue trousers.[8]


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa[edit]

The Levies and the Khasadar Forces will be absorbed into the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police.[18]



  • The Sindh Police (128,500 personnel) operates in the Sindh province.
    • The Special Security Unit is a specialized counterterrorism and security unit, based in Karachi, with operational jurisdiction extending throughout Sindh. The SSU was established in 2010 in response to increased rates of terrorism.


The Azad Kashmir Police operates in the semi-autonomous Azad Kashmir, South Punjab police[23] operates the South punjab region and the Gilgit-Baltistan Police operates in the semi-autonomous Gilgit-Baltistan region.

Police Service of Pakistan[edit]

Police Service of Pakistan
Common namePakistan Police
Agency overview
Preceding agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionPAK
Governing bodyMinistry of Interior
General nature
  • President's Police Medal 1954-86 Pakistan.svg Police honorary ribbon

The Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) replaced the Indian Imperial Police in 1948, a year after Pakistan became independent from the British Raj. The service commands and provides leadership to federal, provincial, and territorial police forces. Its officers are assigned to different districts, provinces and stations across Pakistan. Most of the country's highest profile law enforcement positions are staffed by members of the PSP, including Inspector Generals of provinces, the Director Generals of the Intelligence Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency, and superintendents of the Frontier Constabulary & National Highways and Motorway Police. Officers are recruited through an extremely competitive examination held once a year by the Federal Public Service Commission. Those selected then must undergo a six month training programme known as CTP at the Civil Services Academy (CSA) in Lahore, and a further 18 months of specialised training occurs at the National Police Academy Islamabad.

Primarily operated through the four provincial governments and the Islamabad Capital Territory,[24] each police service has a jurisdiction extending only within the relevant province or territory.[25] [26]

The law enforcement agencies are also involved in providing first response to emergencies and other threats to public safety as well as protecting the infrastructure and maintaining order in the country. Apart from investigating crime scenes, criminal acts, suspected unlawful activities, and detention of suspected criminals pending judicial action, the law enforcement agencies (primarily police) also perform duties that include the service and enforcement of warrants, writs, and other orders of the courts.

Designations of PSP officers[edit]

Punjab Police Personnel
Grade Police Ranks Directorial/Secretarial Appointment
  • Assistant Superintendent of Police
  • Deputy Superintendent of Police
  • Assistant Director, Intelligence Bureau
  • Assistant Director, Anti-Narcotics Force
  • Assistant Director, Financial Monitoring Unit
  • Assistant Director, Federal Investigation Agency
  • Assistant District Officer, Frontier Constabulary
  • Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO)
  • Additional Superintendent of Police
  • Superintendent of Police
  • Deputy Director, Intelligence Bureau
  • Deputy Director, Anti-Narcotics Force
  • Deputy Director, Financial Monitoring Unit
  • Deputy Director, Federal Investigation Agency
  • SP Dolphin Force (only in Punjab)
  • District Officer, Frontier Constabulary
  • District Police Officer (DPO) of smaller districts
  • Assistant Inspector General of Police
  • Senior Superintendent of Police
  • Director, Intelligence Bureau
  • Joint Director, Anti-Narcotics Force
  • Additional Director, Federal Investigation Agency
  • Director, National Police Academy
  • Course Commander, National Police Academy
  • Additional Director, Financial Monitoring Unit
  • Additional Director, Special Security Unit
  • Additional Director, National Crisis Management Cell
  • District Police Officer (DPO) of larger districts
  • City Police Officer (CPO)
  • Deputy Inspector General of Police
  • Director, Anti-Narcotics Force
  • Director General, NACTA Headquarters
  • Deputy Director General, Intelligence Bureau
  • Director, Federal Investigation Agency
  • Director, Financial Monitoring Unit
  • Deputy Commandant, Frontier Constabulary
  • Director, Special Security Unit
  • Director, National Crises Management Cell
  • Deputy Commandant, National Police Academy
  • Director, National Police Bureau
  • Director, National Police Academy
  • Regional Police Officer (RPO) of a division
  • Capital City Police Officer (CCPO)
  • City Police Officer (CPO)
  • Inspector General of Police
  • Additional Inspector General of Police
  • Director General, Anti-Narcotics Force
  • Inspectors General Of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Islamabad Capital Territory
  • Managing Director, National Police Foundation
  • Director General, National Police Bureau
  • Director General, Financial Monitoring Unit
  • Joint Director General, Intelligence Bureau
  • Director General, National Crises Management Cell
  • Additional Director General, Federal Investigation Agency
  • Deputy National Coordinator, National Counter Terrorism Authority
  • Inspector General of Police
  • Provincial Police Officers of Punjab, Sindh, KP and Balochistan
  • Secretary, Narcotics Control Division
  • National Coordinator, National Counter Terrorism Authority
  • Director General, Intelligence Bureau
  • Director General, Federal Investigation Agency
  • Director General, National Police Bureau
  • Inspector General, Pakistan Railways
  • Commandant, National Police Academy
  • Commandant, Frontier Constabulary
  • Inspector General National Highways & Motorways Police
  • General of Police
  • General, Pakistan Federal Police

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Manzoor, Saima; Manzoor, Akif; Manzoor, Asif (2014). Police in Pakistan. U.S.: Lulu publications. ISBN 978-1105990328. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b Hassan, Abbas (2011). "Reforming Pakistan's Police and Law Enforcement Infrastructure". U.S. Institute of Peace. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  3. ^ "empowering-the-pakistan-police;hr". Human Rights Documents online. doi:10.1163/2210-7975_hrd-0131-3011. Retrieved 2021-01-04.
  4. ^ "Terrorist's financing, FIA tracks down 18 bank accounts | Pakistan | Dunya News".
  5. ^ "Our Partners". National Police Bureau, Government of Pakistan. Archived from the original on 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
  6. ^ Jones, Mark; Johnstone, Peter (2011). "Time Capsule: Policing in pakistan" (google books). History of Criminal Justice. New York, U.S.: Routledge. ISBN 978-1317522461. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Old uniform of Punjab Police to be restored from July 1 2019". 12 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Sindh Police gets new uniforms 'to enhance policing': IGP". 27 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Vision". Balochistan Police. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
  10. ^ a b c "Current Expenditure (2010-2011)". Government of Balochistan. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  11. ^ "Rs 152 bn Balochistan Budget 2010-11 presented". Government of Balochistan. Archived from the original on 31 August 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  12. ^ "Development project". Government of Balochistan. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  13. ^ "Levies force restored in Balochistan". Dawn Media Group. 15 April 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  14. ^ "Levies directorate". Government of Balochistan. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
  15. ^ Wing, Developed By KP Police IT. "Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police - Official Portal".
  16. ^ "History". Frontier Police. Retrieved 2008-07-01.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Iftikhar Firdous (25 June 2018). "FATA to integrate secretariat into K-P". Express Tribune. Archived from the original on 8 September 2018.
  18. ^ "Policing responsibility in the merged districts given to Levies and Khasadar force". Samaa Tv. 7 February 2019. Archived from the original on 12 February 2019.
  19. ^ "History". Punjab Police. Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
  20. ^ "THE PUNJAB QAUMI RAZAKARS ORDINANCE, 1965". Punjab Laws. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  21. ^ Faisal, Muhammad (4 March 2014). "Failure to check corruption: Police mull razakar force abolition". The Dawn. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  22. ^ Official Website of Punjab Prisons (Pakistan) Archived 2010-03-26 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^, South Punjab Police Office
  24. ^ Mumtaz, Kamil Khan (2003), "Islamabad", Oxford Art Online, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.t041769, retrieved 2021-01-04
  25. ^ Abbas, Hassan. "Police Reforms in Pakistan" (PDF). Hassan Abbas, special report published by USIP. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  26. ^ "Our Partners". National Police Bureau, Government of Pakistan. Archived from the original on 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2008-07-01.