The need of the hour now is that Pakistanis should concentrate on building a society on right values. We need to focus on our civil defence institutions such as the police rather than setting up new task forces to control crime. Jobs have to be created in the police department at the lower level that are filled through merit-based exams. Rather than having one centralized criterion for these exams, we should have custom-based criteria and should recruit people on basis of the backwardness of their districts. For remote places like Rajunpur, the criterion for entry into the police system should be matriculation whereas those recruited to serve in Lahore and Karachi should be graduates. Similarly, for hiring of even lowly constables, the physical examination standards should vary according to districts. Unless we develop a strong administrative structure, there will be no respite from the rampant crime we have in Pakistan. Karachi is a case in point; it desperately needs strong police presence to deal with all the mafias that rule the city. Unless the state does effective policing, there is no possibility of the society evolving economically or socially. The state has to guarantee protection for the ordinary citizens and that can only be done by improving the policing system. In the past, the examination for selecting SHOs were held via the provincial civil service but due to some unknown reason that has been stopped for years. Unless SHOs of good educational background take charge of police stations, there is very little hope for the weak. The government needs to allocate more funds for putting up more policemen on roads otherwise the state would be deep in crisis due to the explosion likely to be caused by the mix of increasing population and unemployed youths. Right now, there is only skeletal police force in every district and division, a situation that needs to be remedied if we are to control crime. Maintaining writ of the state is a great challenge at present all over the country. The fact that ordinary burglaries these days are accompanied by torture, or even rape, shows the great anarchy we are in. The state has deteriorated into nothing. It has to come out of the present state of denial and focus on providing security to the citizen. -ALI HUSSAIN MAZARI, Multan, September 29.