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Reforming the Police in Pakistan

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 through bullet shots in the presence of senior Police officer in broad day light.
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 publicly that shows their moral
degradation and non-professionals 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. 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 installments 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. 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.

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