Advice to IG Sindh
The current practices of Sindh Police hardly match with its ostensible motto written on the top of its logo: ‘ striving to serve’. The mounting mistrust of people shows that it has failed to come up at the expectations of people due to its failure in performing its core duty i. e securing people and maintaining law and order. The deterioration of law and order and general discomfort found in people due to injustices being done to them, only testify the inefficiency of police force which provides substantial space to the mischief mongers and opportunists to exploit at the cost of societal norms and values.
With the new Police chief in place, with seeming intention to turn around the department, there is a big hope for some positive developments. The first step that the new IG Sindh, Mr. A. D Khawaja must take is to bridge trust deficit between police force and the public, without which no policy can bear fruitful results. The years- old and deeprooted corrupt practices of police force have urged the public to convincingly regard it as a tool of harassment and intimidation. I have heard countless times from my elders and friends ‘ police ki na dosti achhi na dushmani’ ( neither enmity nor friendship of policemen is ad- visable). Such statements about police clearly demonstrate the level of public mistrust on the agency. Such thoughts are not being put forward to demoralise those who are honest and dedicated. Indeed, there are many who have even lost their lives in the line of duty. And it is the moral responsibility of every patriotic Pakistani to pay tribute to their services. The above- mentioned advice is only aimed at highlighting the need of making police force serviceoriented and people- friendly.
Moreover, it is also true that a relatively unsafe, poorly resourced, badly trained and poorly motivated police force is unabashedly expected by the state and society to combat crime and restore law and order. This is impractical. There is a genuine need to provide moral and technical training to the policemen vis a vis enhancing their material capacity and skills so that they can dedicate their energies to the lofty cause of securing the people.
It must be ensured that those found guilty of corruption whereby implicating the innocent and exempting the wrong doers, should be subjected to exemplary punishment. Because, unless those who are entrusted with the duty to enforce law are themselves made to respect the law, there will be no meaningful change, howsoever good intentions of top officials there may be.
In the meantime, if there is any will on the part of top officials to reform the police force to make it efficient, they should take concrete steps to uproot the sources of political intervention in the police force and make it a professional, motivated and powerful organ of the state. Indeed, there is no dearth of expert opinion on how to bring reforms in the police force. What is needed is firm resolve and will. It must be realised that nothing short of an overhaul is badly required to purge the police force of the mindset that was incorporated by the British government to subdue the dissent of subcontinental people. It is unfortunate that even after independence, police has not changed its mind and it continues to be used to harass the people by the political masters of free Pakistan. Unless this stops, nothing concrete will happen; all will remain confined to empty promises. — Via email