The Middle East Institute and the Asia Society are proud to host Hassan Abbas, Aitzaz Ahsan, and Arif Alikhan for a discussion about police reform in Pakistan, moderated by former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Wendy Chamberlin. Pakistan's police force faces formidable challenges, ranging from rising crime rates and sustained terrorist campaigns, to limited resources, inadequate training, and poor management. Despite this reality, policy makers have yet to include the law enforcement sector as a top priority for investment and reform.
In this context, Asia Society senior adviser Hassan Abbas and experts from both Pakistan and the United States have collaborated to provide a framework for law enforcement reform throughout the country. The culminating report by the Independent Commission on Pakistan Police Reform is the result of extensive interviews conducted throughout Pakistan with experienced police officials, security analysts, and legal experts, in addition to articles contributed by experts in the field. The report is also informed by Dr. Abbas's service in Pakistan's police force in the 1990s and his subsequent research and work on counterterrorism during his academic career in the United States.
In conjunction with the launch of the report, Commission members will discuss the current state of Pakistan's police force and offer recommendations for enhancing the capacity of police to check the growth of organized crime and conduct critical counterterrorism operations throughout the country.
Hassan Abbas is a senior adviser and Bernard Schwartz Fellow at Asia Society and professor of international security studies at National Defense University's College of International Security Affairs. As a former government official in Pakistan, he served in the administrations of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (1995-1996) and President Pervez Musharraf (1999-2000).
Aitzaz Ahsan is a barrister-at-law and a senior advocate at the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He is a former federal minister for Law and Justice, Interior, Narcotics Control, and Education. Elected to the Senate of Pakistan in 1994, he then served as the leader of the House and the leader of the Opposition. He was previously the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association. He was recently reelected to the Senate.
Arif Alikhan is a former distinguished professor of Homeland Security and Counterterrorism at National Defense University. He previously served as assistant secretary for policy development at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and as deputy mayor for Homeland Security and Public Safety for the City of Los Angeles.
Moderator Wendy Chamberlin is president of the Middle East Institute. She previously served as deputy high commissioner for refugees at the United Nations from 2004 to 2007. A 29-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, she was ambassador to Pakistan from 2001 to 2002.