IT is highly depressing to note that the Sindh Police is spending Rs 117 million from its budget on VIP security every month. Reportedly, thousands of policemen, along with hundreds of vehicles of the police department, are being used to provide security to the provincial governments big guns. The situation more or less is the same in Punjab and other parts of the country, where policemen are now performing guard duties rather than their regular job of maintaining law and order and fighting crime. Chief of the Citizens Police Liaison Committees revelation that there is hardly 10 percent of force available for regular policing shows how much the department has veered off from its actual duty. So the question here is: what about the security of the general public? Who would be looking after them and nabbing gangs, thieves and killers? To all intents and purposes, this is not what the department is meant for. However, part of the problem is that the VIPs are themselves happy to move about heavily guarded and escorted by huge motorcades and commandoes deployed along their paths, and are least bothered about the common mans security. And more importantly, the police establishment has also developed a thinking that their loyalty is not to the state but the government of the day, which must be pleased in every way no matter what the consequences. And so it acts not as a servant of the public but their master. At the end of the day it is the ordinary citizen who is the loser. With such a state of affairs being the order of the day, the catch is pretty obvious. Since the department has almost become a sort of personal security force of the government ministers and powerful individuals, it is no wonder that the terrorists are having a field day blowing up our towns and cities, killing innocent civilians. It has little know-how of how forensic science is being used in prevention of crime and tracking criminals. Besides, as other reports show, the crime rate has also assumed horrific proportions. Newspapers are filled with reports of how criminal gangs are making the lives of the citizens miserable through their onslaught of loot and plunder. On the other hand, the people are afraid to venture into a police station for registration of complaints because of the notorious Thana culture. Under the circumstances, the government must organise the Police department along modern lines. The security of the common man is as important as any VIP. Leaving millions to the mercy of criminals and terrorists just to protect the lives of few important people is most regrettable.