By Matthias Samuel
Everywhere in the world, the police is considered as the frontline of civil defense, having direct contact with society at every level. However, unfortunately, in Pakistan, things have been otherwise. This contradictory prevailing trend, when it comes to policing, has led to many devastating consequences for the society as well as the department itself. Every day we see how blatantly laws are violated, how police officials become parties in criminal cases, how they misbehave with the general public and how they fail in controlling the law and order situation in the country. The people have no guarantee of their fundamental rights to life and/or property. The department is full of fake cases, fake encounter for the sake of promotion.
Just recently, two detained persons lost their lives while being in custody of Punjab police. As per media reports, Salahuddin Ayubi, whose video of robbing an ATM Machine in Rahim Yar Khan went viral, died during the interrogation process where another person identified as Zeeshan alias Shani was also found dead in Lahore police custody under mysterious circumstances.
Courtesy: MNN News
Unchanged police reforms
Every other individual is pretty much well aware of the dishonesty of our police and how corrupt they are. On the other hand, failure doesn’t entirely lies on the part of our police; it lies on the part of our legislators too. It is unfortunate that the post-colonial Police Rules 1934 and the police structure inherited by Pakistan from British legacy didn’t undergo any major amendments, alterations or reformation. Similarly, the Police Order enforced in 2002 didn’t bring many structural or institutional changes in the old setup as postulated under the Police Act of 1861.
Statistics of people killed by police
According to Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) data, as many as 3,345 people have been killed in police encounters from January 2014 to May 2018. Interestingly, Sindh is on top of the list in killing maximum people in police encounter from January 2014 to May 2018. During this period, the Sindh Police has killed 1,592 people in police encounter. The shootings were staged and most of those killed in such so-called ‘armed encounters’ were wanted to the police in different crime cases.
In a nutshell, there are even numerous reported cases of police extrajudicial killings of criminal suspects, torture of detainees to obtain confessions, and harassment and extortion of individuals who seek to file criminal cases, especially against members of the security forces. It is not just the department the real flaw is in the people above them, who for their own interest, make the police officials do certain things.
Matthias Samuel is a student of history in Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad, and occasionally writes blogs and articles.