Package of reforms for the police department

Isn’t it quite unfortunate that the Pakistani police have lost the much-needed confidence of the 90% common population of the country when it comes to the question of safeguarding their life, property and honour? In other words, our police force has miserably failed to carry out its duties in a thoroughly professional manner.
Under such a scenario, I recommend the following package of reforms to make our police force a really professional and vibrant unit. There is a greater need to stop the recruitment of police officials on a political basis. Right from the post of a constable to that of an Inspector, the recruitment in the police department should be made purely on merit by thoroughly judging their suitability for different slots within the department.
Only then a change will come in the police stations of the country where such competent and God-fearing officials will seriously listen to the cries of the suppressed class of the society in their police stations and will help them in the light of the law.
An SHO should be held accountable for whatever crime is committed within his assigned jurisdiction. Salaries of the police officials should be raised keeping in view the prevailing inflationary jump in different daily use items such as milk, vegetables, pulses, beef, mutton, flour, ghee, etc.
Citizens-Police Liaison Committees should be established at the Tehsil levels so that the genuine grievances of the people of such tehsils are redressed accordingly. Inspector Generals of Police (IGPs) of all the four provinces should issue directives to their respective Senior Superintendents of Police (SSP) for holding compulsory “open public meetings” for at least an hour on daily basis in the presence of their SHOs/DSPs for listening to the genuine issues of the common citizens of their areas.
Transfers and postings of police officials (especially of SHOs) should be made purely on merit rather than on political considerations. Our police force should be imparted modern training along with providing them with modern sophisticated weapons so that it is able to swiftly handle and tackle the nefarious designs of terrorists and anti-state elements.
The police force of our country should be provided with the latest vehicles for the performance of their duties. A sufficient non-salary budget should be provided to them so that the officials are able to meet the expenses of fuel and maintenance and repair of their official vehicles. Since policing is all about creating confidence in the local people, therefore, local police officials should be posted in police stations for they are fully aware of their areas besides having complete knowledge of the residents of such areas.
Stringent punishments should be awarded to those police officials who are found involved in heinous crimes of kidnappings for ransom, robbery, rape, murder, etc.
Police officials are also human beings and they too, accordingly, need minimum rest. Therefore, there should be a maximum of eight hours of duty for police officials; especially for ASIs and constables.
If we have to bring reforms in our police department, then we have to correct the environment of our police stations first and then the rest will be taken care of automatically. An atmosphere of awe and fear has to be done away with from our police stations by making them complainant-friendly. It has generally been observed that all those police officials who have been appointed by successive governments on a political basis, were criminals before joining their police force. This is a dangerous sign for any institution for these elements, instead of promoting the cause of justice, would definitely extend the hands of their fellow criminals by protecting them.
I am sure by taking the above-mentioned reforms in the police department, our police force would be able to perform its duties in a thoroughly professional manner and in this way it would be able to regain the lost confidence of the general public of the country by addressing their genuine problems.
ABDUL SAMAD SAMO,
Karachi

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