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June 17, 2019

Inefficiency and corruption blotch police

Islamabad

June 17, 2019

Islamabad : By and large performance of police has touched the most minuscule ebb with hardly any interest being shown by the government or by the department itself to first to arrest the rot and then take steps to revive the actual spirit of policing, a police officer holding a key office in the Punjab, observed on the condition of anonymity.

It may sound harsh and sort of a sweeping statement but unfortunately this is an undeniable fact that the priorities of a vast majority of our ‘Police Service of Pakistan’ (PSP) officers have completely changed from policing to self-projection and money collection by using their office. But majority of the PSP officers are intend to concentrate on professional policing with dignity and honour, the pragmatic officer kept up.

Gone are the days when the corrupt or dishonest police officers used to get immediately spotted and marked and would be described as the ‘black sheep’ of the department by their own brethren in uniform, the officer maintained.

Now are the days that if we find an honest and upright officer, we immediately start eulogizing him with good intention because of their dedication and aim to perform their duties with a noticeable level of honesty and commitment, he said and added “good repute is actually respect from God.”

“Any police command doesn’t carry a ‘magic wand’ that he will wave with a flourish and the things will change. We don’t expect him to turn the Islamabad Police into a model police force in the country over a short period of time,” the officer upheld. “But what pains us to note is that he has yet to take the right steps in the right direction to achieve what he has promised and what he is actually supposed to do as the commander of the police force,” he added.

A few directions he gave to the force only encouraged the corrupt and unscrupulous elements in the force to start abuse their powers with impunity. We have all the reasons to believe that he had issued those directions with all the good will behind those. But unfortunately the result is that the old culture of harassing poor public and extortion by patrolling police officials on the roads and in the streets is creeping back, the officer said.

There are still high hopes pinned on him concerning change in the prevailing police culture, which has crept in the federal territory from Punjab and has become so rotten that to change it has become a slogan for the political parties.

Amidst the prevailing environments, made murkier by the political confusion in the country, the inefficiency and corruption throughout the country, particularly, in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Police Department is going un-noticed.

Simply, because the evils of corruption, nepotism, dishonesty and abuse of power have dug their claws too deep in our society.

With obvious political influence on the department the ‘check and balance system’ for monitoring the performance of officials and officers, have tailed off badly, ultimately, reflecting adversely on the crime control and maintenance of law and order situation in the twin-cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

However, at the same time we have seen individuals in the same police department who had refused to budge to the pressure mounted by the politicians and had left highly appreciable impressions by improving the performance, thus winning the hearts and minds of public.

It has been observed that some Station House Officers (SHOs), the Sub-Divisional Police Officers (SDPOs), the Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASPs) and the Superintendent of Police (SPs) are not coming up to the set standards of efficiency in the performances of their duties.

The situation has created a discontented element in the force as they feel that they are not being awarded and rewarded for their good work while looking helplessly at their colleagues with shady and questionable service records being patronized because of political influence and clout they have mustered up.

This is observed that some upright and professional police officers have been side-lined without concrete reasons but the rationale was that they performed their duties in earlier period according to law during the previous long ‘sit-in’. Some victim police officers have posted out of Islamabad while some have joined UN Mission to avoid rage of the rulers.

This is an established fact that the upright, honest and professional officers feel themselves misfit in the police organism for the reason that they remain intolerable for the political robust who are running the faulty system of the law enforcing agency. Because of the political deeds, the government could not introduce the police reforms that were their first main concern and prime intention.

But at the same time it should be realised that any police command doesn’t carry a ‘magic wand’ that he will wave with a flourish and the things will change. We don’t expect him to turn the Islamabad Police into a model police force in the country over a short period of time.

We do realise that such a change cannot be induced overnight or even over a considerable period of time, counting in years. But what we expect is for the police bosses to see the reality and realize how compellingly essential it has become to take the right steps in the right direction, first to arrest the deterioration and then to eventually reach the goal.

But what pains us to note is that he has yet to take the right steps in the right direction to achieve what he has promised and what he is actually supposed to do as the leader of the Islamabad Police force.

At this stage we are in dire need of officers like Zulfiqar Cheema and Nasir Khan Durrani, who never compromised on the principles, astutely confronted the political pressure and brought about a change in the force under their direct control, creating small islands of honesty and integrity wherever they went to serve. But the best contribution they made towards Pakistan Police was that they nurtured and groomed a team of honest, dedicated and upright police officers, some of which are still working somewhere in the country challenging and confronting the prevalent dishonest system.

Now is the time that we need more and more of such officer who wrote history of policing and honesty in the department.

Former Inspector General of Police KP, Nasir Khan Durrani, when contacted by the correspondent for his comments, accepting overall deteriorating situation of the society including the police department, said training and motivation is basic requirement for the young officer. He expressed his sanguinity, saying that the youth of this country is upright, honest and cultured and has capability to put the country on right direction.

Afzal Ali Shigri, author of the police reform, when contacted by this scribe to know, how the police culture could be modified, said, “Yes, a notable number of PSP officers are involved in financial and moral corruption and getting away from professionalism. It is due to deteriorating situation of the society but lack of training is prime reason of the opting wrong track.” He said that weak command was not fulfilling his responsibilities and most important responsibility is to give motivation to the officers of young lot. Peer pressure from the close relative, friends and politicians put them on wrong track.

He admitted that the political intervention is not confined to the Police department all over the country but almost every department has been manipulated by the politicians for their own gains instead of serving the public and the state.

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