Reforming police in Pakistan – I


By Abdul Rahman Malik

The police in Pakistan have been very aggressive in all the provinces of Pakistan, especially in Punjab and Sindh. Though, there is a concept of community-friendly Policing in Pakistan in just laws that may encourage the victims to expect some relief from the Police.

But here , Police adds to woes of Public and the bribe quagmire drowns the innocent voices sometimes the dissent voices which are silenced through harassment  fake encounters some traditional  terms like  ” Half Fry and Fully Fry”, Fake FIRs which are mostly politically motivated always presenting bleak picture and the poor state of affairs .

There have been no reforms in  Policing except some changes in KPK police that to some extent  improved the  Police Stations and may have  revamped the traditional “thana culture” and converting them into community legal consultancy and support centres  changing  their  dreadful  concept for the public and has stopped the bribe.

The Head munshis (WHCs) mostly deal the affairs at the various police stations and are often called the earning machines for the SHO’s. They hit the secret deals and get bribes from both the accused and the complainants .Even they charge the complainants for the moving Vehicles after registering the case  and demand fuel charges along with (Kharchi) pocket money as if they have done something additional to their duties .

The lack of proper training and grooming especially for psychological disorders creates situations like   Model Town Lahore, Sahiwal Like incidents –Even the criminal negligence of Police in  Irshad Ranjhani Case where a UC Nazim  Raheem Shah shot a political worker to death in the presence of senior Police officer in broad daylight.

The apathetic Police force crossed all human borders and took the dying soul Irshad Ranjhani to Police Station for investigation instead of taking him to the hospital for treatment which was the constitutional right of the citizen of Pakistan since his guilt was not proved in the light of the statement of the Killer Raheem shah.

It is really ironic to note that the poor labourer’s bullet-ridden soul might have questioned that why he was not provided with the first Aid when the sentenced criminals like Nawaz Sharif, Dr Asim are provided same at Prisons no matter, how heinous the crime was.

The Police think that they have the Licence to Kill and these extra Judicial killings have further widened the distance between the police and the citizens that is why the citizens have started protecting themselves rather than relying on the police since it has failed miserably in protecting the people from the criminal elements. Even it has become a party with criminal elements and found involved in political Victimization.

There are several cases in Pakistan where so-called Chaudhries, Sardars, Feudal Lords and  Interest Mafias have humiliated the poor families on unscrupulous designs which were refused to be served by these poor families and as a result of their refusal, they were subjected to physical tortures in police stations on the power of money and political positions.

The police are always reluctant to register the case against any influential Sardar, Feudal lord or Interest Mafia until a high-level official from the police or Court takes suo motto notice of such massive injustice, criminal negligence or cruelty with the poor souls. Those who fall victim to police terrorism (police gardy) take them as dreadful creatures since these barbaric police personnel do not fit in the definition of Humanity owing to their inhuman behaviours or psychological disorders.

The Police officials always disgrace respectable citizens with insulting attitudes by undressing the accused publically that shows their moral degradation and non-professionalism in dealing with the cases and interrogations.

However, it will be an injustice to blame only the police for such malpractices but the  Police Officers at AIG, DIG and SSP level play in the hands of the feudal  Politicians i.e MNAs and MPA and are posted with their consent in their respective Districts regardless of their efficiency to deal with nature of crimes existing in certain districts .

Thus, despite public anger and protests against kidnappings for ransom , dacoities, Street crimes, brutal murders and  Tribal clashes, the failure of the Police Officers is denied or defended until  MNA’s and MPA’s accord the approval to transfer the the said officer. It means , even  IGs are unable to make transfers & postings of SSPs and DIGs without the consent of these MNA’s and MPA’s.

The Depoliticizing of Police will improve their performance since they will work with dedication and without any political interference or pressure to initiate an offensive against the criminal elements.

The katcha areas of Punjab, Sindh are said to be the criminal safe havens since traces of every crime go to these areas but due to  some patronage from  the feudal lords and  internal connections of  the Police with criminals , the raids  conducted  by Police  in association with the Rangers have failed since  information is already  shared by some  black sheep within the  police ranks with those in Katcha area  .

According to reports that in past, the IG Sindh and other Officers had issued a report in which various names of Police officers were mentioned who had links with criminals. Those were either dismissed from service or suspended but later their services were restored on political interference.

Furthermore, The Police are frequently involved in land grabbing, drug peddling, gambling and supporting  interest mafia that is looting the nation with both hands. The interest mafia from the automobile industry even resorts to occupy the houses of person who avail any new or used bike or car on instalments for 4 to 6 months.

These auto dealers mafia charges over 30 to 40 per cent interest per month and the rate gets double when the person fails to pay the amount on time.

Then, the interest rate converts into daily interest compelling the poor persons to sell their properties in peanuts to these Auto dealer Mafias and the Hindu traders of grain markets and other business owners to payback millions in interest.

These mafias are backed by the police who lodge FIRs on the complaints of these Mafias to harass the people and recover the interest amounts and take their recovery shares. Sometimes, these mafias forcibly kidnap the person , illegally occupy their houses and release the abductees when they get full repayments from their families.

Thanks to courts, they provide some relief to these affected people against life threats and harassment, and fix easy installments of principal amount only. The interest is waived off so that they may get rid of mental stress and social degradation.

The police act like munchies (accountants) to these mafias since they themselves avail their services and provide security to them. That is why these interest mafias have set up their shops in the vicinity of police Stations and SSP offices so that they may run their illegal interest based business in the patronage and support of Police.