With great power comes great responsibility. Sadly however, it can be seen that almost always, those in power tend to misuse the authority that they have for their own benefit. At times, these individuals aren’t even benefiting from the misuse of their power; they choose to do it anyway for mere entertainment. While this is something that can be seen worldwide, it seems as if our country has been blessed a bit too much with such individuals. Even worse is the fact that such behavior is most commonly found in government employees. With improper standards of selection, many officials simply aren’t fit for the position that they’re given as a result of which the image of our government officials continues getting tarnished as time passes.

Anywhere in the world, the arrival of a policeman creates an aura of peace. You feel safe and secure. Policemen, being the direct representatives of the law, are treated with utmost respect because they deserve it. Throughout the day, they patrol the streets making sure that the ordinary citizens of the area do not have to go through any inconvenience in their daily lives. For this, they are loved and respected. Sadly, however, the same cannot be said for the policemen in Pakistan.

Seeing a policeman in Pakistan immediately means something’s wrong. Instead of making you feel safe, these ‘protectors’ of society make you feel vulnerable. They can harass you and get away with it unless you can make phone calls to the ‘right’ people. They can let suspicious looking men go unchecked at a check post but stop you because you are travelling with two male friends.

Almost everyone, at one point or another, has been stopped by a policeman for driving with a friend who belongs to the opposite sex.  It surprises me to know how mobile phone snatchers conveniently drive away after robbing someone but two friends cannot escape the wrath of a policeman.

It saddens me to know that if an individual is caught with alcoholic beverages by the police, the easiest way to get out of the situation is to offer some to the policemen. We choose to ignore these events that take place almost every day in our society without realizing what a blatant display of hypocrisy and double standards these actions are.

The people who are responsible for the implementation of law are the ones exploiting it the most. They will demand to speak to your father if you’re ‘caught’ driving from one place to another in broad daylight with a few friends who happen to be members of the opposite sex – a legal adult being told to call up her parents, simply because she’s a woman who is driving around with her friends. The absurdity of the situation makes my blood boil.

While policemen all over the world keep a lookout for suspicious people who could cause trouble, policemen in Pakistan keep a lookout for people they could threaten into getting some money from. Of course, our society is to blame for this equally. Had society not forced young people to hang out with their friends without their parents knowing, no policeman would dare ask to speak to a young girl’s parents.

What’s even worse is the fact that the minute you call an authoritative figure and hand over the phone to the policeman, he lets you go. Whatever ‘crime’ you were committing no longer remains a crime. Your ‘wrong’ deeds are suddenly made right and you’re free to go. This just suggests that you weren’t doing anything wrong in the first place and were being questioned simply because the other person thought they could bully some money out of you or that you can get away with doing something wrong if you have the right contacts. Both thoughts are equally disturbing.

Hopefully, someday, seeing a policeman will help Pakistanis feel safe and secure. Until then, everyone will continue needing to have the ‘right’ numbers on their speed-dial.