Unless strict actions are taken to curb crime in Punjab, it will become another battle ground like Karachi. The bad economic situation and joblessness has pushed the youth up against a wall, where they may resort to crime, if nothing is done to help them. With no accountability and lax law enforcement agencies people are getting away with crime, repeatedly in most cases, the range and scope of criminal activities has increased tremendously. Incidents of street crimes, rape and killing have increased.
Tackling this rising crime needs mobilising the huge state machinery, comprising of police force, judiciary, media, and the chief minister. But it is not just in Punjab that the Sharifs’ position has become weak but also in state matters. The aborted talks with the Taliban, which seems to be unwinding slowly, exhibited in no uncertain terms what lengths they are willing to go to as long as their party line is towed. But Punjab is a different story and the CM has been in the seat for quite a while now.
Now his first order of business must be to bring some sort of normalcy to the country and an attempt to revamp the corrupt police force, which is an incompetent and inefficient organ of the state. It is not just that the police that almost always comes out embarrassing itself, but more importantly, it also brings shame to the CM, whose promises of stern action and better future are hollow statements. Yet the buck does stop with him, and it is his responsibility to keep his province in order. After all he does depend on the people’s goodwill to stay in power!
If it is the police force that has been found wanting, time and again, in curbing serious crime in the province, then perhaps he should take some steps that show he really means business this time. He will be surprised by how much the media and judiciary would come to his aid in such matters. But he must prove first that he is serious in his intent. As long as there is no punishment, there will continue to be more crime under the CM Punjab’s watch .
MALIHA JAVID,
Lahore, April 23.