Morally depraved, hopelessly inefficient and corrupt to the core – Punjab Police has yet again demonstrated why it is one of the most notorious and hated entities in Pakistan. The force doesn’t know the difference between exercising power and abusing it. Citizens are supposed to feel safe around their police force, but here, they fear it and seek protection from it. Robbers, thieves, murderers or white collar criminals, the force doesn’t discriminate. Everyone is apprehended and thrown in jail, unless they pay the right amount. It conducts regular business with bootleggers, pimps and drug traffickers and conspires with them to nab clients for the purpose of blackmail and extraction of bribes. It favours rapists over rape survivors. It sides with killers over the slain. It is loyal to its own needs, its political bosses and nothing else. Of course, one can always find a few good men everywhere and in Punjab Police’s case, there are very few of them. But as a whole, the ‘institution’ is an utter disgrace, and has been so for quite some time now.
On International Day for Persons with Disabilities, peaceful protesters demanding their rights, most of whom are blind, were baton-charged in Lahore by the goons in black to prevent them from heading towards the Chief Minister House. Another version is that the President’s motorcade was to pass through Davis Road, and so the protesters had to be moved to clear the way. Punjab Chief Minister has suspended police officials responsible for the incident and sought a report from Police higher-ups. The CM cannot fix the police unless he dares to fix himself. He is the problem, not the solution. Is it not common knowledge that the PML-N has always relied on the police, especially Punjab Police, to settle political scores, encouraged it to lodge false FIRs, pressurised it to free culprits and persuaded it to attack innocents? The Model Town incident is just one example which highlights the misuse of police by the party. To expect the Chief Minister – the guardian of VIP culture, a proponent and beneficiary of police brutality – to overhaul the system is to expect too much from the wrong man. If his vision and power is limited to issuing suspension orders, perhaps he should suspend himself.