Adding to the brilliant performance, honesty and competence of the country’s police, a constable of the Excise and Taxation department has demonstrated that corruption has and always will continue to rule the roost in Pakistan.
In a viral video circulating on Facebook, a constable from the Chichawatni Excise and Taxation Department is seen on the passenger seat of a car belonging to a transgender who was en route a function where he was to perform.
He threatens the transgender and his designated driver of impounding their vehicle unless they pay him a fine. After loitering around for a few minutes and casually abusing his power, he takes a selfie, says that he should shut down the transgender person’s car and takes a phone call from someone who seems to be his senior to confirm the amount of bribe to be extracted from the prey of the day.
He intentionally mentions the amount to be Rs9000 so to have an impact but settles for Rs2500, before leaving with a big smile on his face.
Soon after the video went viral, a notification regarding the suspension of the corrupt constable was issued; however, according to the notification, his name is Shahbaz and not Shahzad as he states in the video.
However, there was no mention of the senior whom the corrupt constable had called to confirm the amount to be taken as bribe in exchange for the transgender’s right to live as an equal citizen.
Policemen, especially those in Punjab, are infamous for abusing their power to extract cash from citizens under one guise or another.
The most popular way involves them self-inviting themselves into someone’s car, directing them to drive where they say as if they own the car, and threatening them with consequences such as shutting down their vehicle or embarrassing them by taking them to the police station where more trouble and insult is guaranteed.
Although the Excise and Taxation Department issued a notification regarding constable Muhammad Shahbaz’s suspension from duties “on account of grave misconduct”, it goes without saying that he would be restored within weeks if not days and continue to prey on powerless, ordinary citizens.