Reforming police in Pakistan – II

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 By Abdul Rahman Malik

Thanks to recent legislation against the interest mafia that suggests rigorous punishments and fines for those who run the interest based business. But ,its application is still questionable since the same police will execute complaints making it hard for people .

The current police structure is very feeble because  it is heavily politicized.In such situation , the recent  decision of National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC) to  hand over the petitions under Sections 22A and 22B of the CrPC  to the superintendent of police (SP) (complaints) has been heavily criticized by Pakistan Bar Council (PBC)  and all the Provincial and District Bar Council since they fear that police  may not serve the purpose  and those affectees will not expect any relief . Since the affectees always approach the justice of the peace to get relief against illegal harassment and life threats.

The legal fraternity is protesting against the decision of NJPMC and demands its restoration to original form so that people may get quick relief. Everybody knows that the poor people have already the negative impression regarding the police so they will not get the desired relief as per their constitutional right what they can get through the justice of Peace.

The police are not following any code of ethics and their adverse communication and misbehaviour with women by surpassing the cultural and traditional norms of respectable citizens have various stories to tell.

They do not know how to deal with the families of Criminals. I have seen many cases in which poor women were dragged to the police stations by male  Police personnel that presents a grim picture and increases the fear of people from the thana  Culture and the so-called thanedar.

It only happens in Pakistan, where the old father, Old mother, brothers, sisters and even relatives bear the brunt of criminal practices of a single black sheep in the family. How far it is justified that an innocent family member should be harassed for the offences of another family member where the whole family faces the trauma and distress.

The draconian practice of police torture often thwarts the criminal law procedure and leaving the victims at the mercy of these people.

It is also disappointing that the common people cannot complain against the police personnel or officer to higher authority since they turn a deaf ear towards such complaints and the victims compellingly knock the doors of court to lodge their complaint against the police highhandedness ,torture and harassment since the courts are the only option for the relief.

The massive human rights violations are tantamount to international covenants and the UN’s UDHR. Even the article 14(2) of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan prohibits torture for the purposes of extracting evidence.

There is no precedence that the capital punishment was awarded to any police personnel for torture or harassment while the article 156 (d) of Police Order, 2002 suggests the penalty against a police official who inflicts torture against any person but there is not any precedence of its application in such case of torture.

The police torture will go unabated until we legislate for such malpractices. We also need to educate the people regarding the basic rights   through academia so that they must be aware of their constitutional rights as safeguarded by the state.

There is a grave need for some administrative reforms that may prevent such cases. The govt should transform the police stations into legal consultancy centres by appointing legal experts and modernizing the outlook of police stations so that people’s fear against the thana culture may be changed so that citizens and Police liaison may be enhanced and the victims must get the relief and timely help in a friendly manner.

Furthermore, the number of women police stations should be  increased so that women must be confident to communicate with female staff and discuss their issues openly. The house raids must be conducted by the ladies police such as house search etc in the cases if it is necessary. Otherwise, entry of Male policemen in the house must be banned and they should be punished for committing such a crime.

The police officers having links with various interest mafias, drug peddlers, criminals and dacoits must be dismissed from service since these criminal personnel always play the role of abettor in the crime.

The police rules and police order requires overhauling and strict monitoring system should be deployed on each police station. The Monitoring officer from law department must be posted at Tehseel level so that criminal activities of the police may be monitored and reported to higher authorities for the possible legal actions.

The Installation of CCTV cameras at every police station will restrain police from inflicting torture or taking the bribe. The KP police were reformed a lot but such reforms should be done at the national level since the Provincial Police chiefs are appointed by the Federal Government. The National   Policy on Police reforms will serve the interests of all provinces and the federation.