A simple expedient has revealed that at least 60 Punjab Police constables do not really exist, and are 'ghosts' called into being solely so that their salaries could supplement the incomes of certain unscrupulous elements within the department. The Police Department identified the non-existent policemen by simply stopping the 'ghostly' salaries. When they did not contact the department, it was confirmed that these constables, who were shown as being on special duty, did not exist. These cases belonging to Lahore, when it was brought to his notice, the CCPO Lahore handed the matter over to the SSP Discipline for further action, and he says that the number is 60. However, other estimates put the number of 'ghost' constables as high as 500. Apart from the monetary loss, which probably runs into millions, this serves as yet another blow to a service plagued by its failure to fulfill its primary objective, the protection of the lives and property of the citizen. Though the Chief Minister has announced a hefty increase in the salaries of the police, it has not yet been provided to it in an unrelated development. However, until the police sorts out itself, the pay raise is not justified. It is unfortunate that this scandal has erupted at a time when the police is under more criticism than ever before for failing to control the law and order situation, and at a time when terrorism is rife. It is to be assumed that if Lahore is affected on this scale, the other forces of the province, probably of the country, are also affected. The federal government should order a general check, and the new salaries should only then be made applicable in the Punjab. The 'ghost' phenomenon did not start with the police, with schools and sanitation workers leading the way, but now other departments deserve checking. But the police needs to be purified first, because it will be needed for other departments. Those guilty must feel the full brunt of the law, not get a mere slap on the wrist.