Rawalpindi: This is a bitter reality, even in the present regime that police system is under sheer grip of political sway. The provincial as well as federal governments use to make transfers and posting orders of police officials on favouritism sacrificing merit and service record of police officers.
Top police officers, engaged in police operations of the Punjab and Sindh, confirmed the report with the condition not to expose their identity. However, Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police authorities avoided to reciprocate the query.
Politicians even feel proud for interference and influence in affairs of police and consider it their success having strong links with police high-ups. The prevailing moral standards and mental degradation of the society could be judged with the very fact that only those politicians are looked worthy and resourceful who can make police under their influence and pressurize it easily.
Success and failure of politicians in general elections is also dependent on their influence and power in police department on grounds either they are capable to redress legal and illegal issues of their voters in police stations, which is only possible if that politician has get managed to appoint his favourite SHO in his constituency.
The degradation process in a society starts when a common citizen feels it difficult to seek police assistance for solution of his problems and seeking justice on merit become an impossible entity. These loopholes in the society developed a deprived class and such practices if continued, instigates trends of rebellion in common people.
Every political government, during their regimes, use to make thousands illegal appointments in Police for different ranks of constables, ASIs and DSPs. On other side individuals appointed on political grounds and references remain loyal to those political parties and fulfil all legal and illegal instructions of those parties.
Relating this scenario, a survey report claimed that Sindh police is not in control of political mafias, however, the political interference in police affairs, effects police performance and gush and surge of street crime in urban as well as in rural areas of the province. In Punjab as well as in Balochistan politicians use to keep police under their pressure and influence and feel ease and pleasure for keeping police dependent on them.
No doubt there are evidences regarding political interference in police but since last few months, the government against its attitude has start appointing police officers on merit in Sindh, Punjab, Baluchistan and KP; however it could be too early to tell how police officials deputed on merit will perform their duties with professional attitude and on merit negating calls and instructions from political high-ups.
Political interference in police has reached to an alarming scale and this is because of the government’s negative attitude. The people who were appointed directly on ranks of DSP in police during PPP’s first tenure on political grounds have got promotions now on ranks of DIGs and now they are protecting their political parties’ interests in their respective jurisdictions. Not only PPP, PML-N also appointed their favourites on key positions in police on political grounds, similarly ethnic and other religious parties also managed to appoint their people on key posts in police. Amid this scenario when successive governments have been responsible for degradation of police force and employ police for protection of their interests; how successful reforms process is possible in police when police has been rigged with corruption cancer.
Whenever, initiatives for reforms in police system has been taken, higher authorities use to hold responsible ‘Thana Culture’ and made tall claims to end this anti-justice system but all such tall claims ended in futile exercise later.
This is sure short fact now that whatever political party remains in power, ‘Thana Culture’ cannot be changed as politics of the politicians of Sindh and Punjab is dependent on this culture. Through this ‘Thana Culture’ politicians not only take illegal benefits but also settle legal and illegal issues of their voters and shield criminals for mutual interests.
The stance of high-ups sitting on key positions in police department and responsible for reforms process in police is also wrong that police system cannot be reformed. The reality is that responsible elements don’t want reformed police force and an end to ‘Thana Culture’ as this culture protects their interests. To end ‘Thana Culture’ we need sincere efforts, patriotism, and seriousness. And sincere and serious efforts are being made in KP to bring change in ‘Thana Culture’ as police chief of the province within the shortest time get improve police system to a larger extent and turn KP Police Force into an exemplary Police Force. No doubt, government should prioritize to end political interference in police affairs to make police a competent force.