Ad­vice to IG Sindh

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - SHA­KEEL GHOURI

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

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