Police heroes

Recognize, reward and reform

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As bad as the image of police in Pakistan has become among the citizens, noting takes away the fact that officers and men of police have rendered countless sacrifices for bringing about peace and stability in the country. Although there is a decline in the number of deaths, they still remain vulnerable.

The reasons for vulnerability are many. First Pakistan has been through the after effects of war on terror. During  the last decade or so there were over seventy thousand deaths including those of law enforcement agencies as well as civilians. Police force being the primary LEA was at the forefront of these attacks.

Second the force due to its colonial heritage lacks the modern day training. With increase in population in general and urban population in particular the need for community policing has risen whereas our thana culture is still mired in the 19th century.  The state of their physical fitness also requires a lot to be desired. They also lack the necessary equipment and gear that exposes them to fatal injuries often leading to death.

There are numerous examples where individuals- both officers and men- have displayed exemplary courage and professional integrity paying the ultimate price. On the martyrs day while the government and civil society remembered those fallen in the line of duty, they should also look to invest more in their training and pay-scale and other facilities. It is a fact that they are an underpaid force with arbitrary powers which often leads them to accept bribes for offering favours.

The PTI government has been promising to depoliticize police and assure them tenures so that they could work independently but that has not been the case so far. In Punjab alone, the chief of police has been changed every three months. The police reform committee head Nasir Durrani has resigned protesting the lack of requisite powers. Mere recognition of sacrifice sans financial reward and reform in the long run would go only so far.