LAHORE Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif while addressing the 3-day international conference entitled 'Justice for all; impunity for none, here last week had admitted large-scale corruption in our police stations. He had also demanded accountability of judges, politicians and civil servants. One wonders how boldly Mr Sharif, who is himself the Chief Executive of the largest province of the country for the last three years, confessed that the police department is the hotbed of corruption and injustice. He has pointed out rightly but he, being the Chief Executive, is himself responsible for all the mess and bad governance in the province. This is like an open secret that the Chief Minister himself interviewed senior officers including Capital City Police Officer Ahmed Raza Tahir and all the District Police Officers before their appointment. Similarly, the Inspector General of Police (Javed Iqbal) had also been interviewed by the Chief Minister and his brother and PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif before he was given the assignment to lead the Punjab police. So again, who is responsible? Shahbaz Sharif posted Javed Iqbal as IGP and Ahmed Raza Tahir as the CCPO Lahore with great expectations but they have failed to change the typical working of the law enforcing agency. Law and order situation is worsening in the heart of Punjab with every passing day, corruption is flourishing and police officers have failed to bring any positive change in the age-old Thana culture. In fact, the top police officers have badly failed to deliver on all fronts from heinous crimes to street crimes, corruption to police highhandedness, and law and order situation to security of common people. The crime rate in the Punjab Capital has swelled to an alarming level which is evident from the fact incidents of heinous crimes such as bank dacoities, kidnapping for ransom, dacoity-cum-murder and house robberies are taking place in every nook and corner of the metropolis with impunity. The alarming increase in crime rate should be more than eye opener for the Khadam-e-Aala (Chief Minister Punjab). As a matter of fact, dacoits killed seven people on offering resistance since August here in the City but the police have failed to nab even a single gangster involved in this heinous crime. Dacoits looted seven braches of different banks and took away millions of rupees but again the police performance is zero as far as any breakthrough in such cases is concerned. Not enough, the police are also groping in the dark into the high profile abductions of American development expert Dr Warren and Shahbaz Taseer, the son of slain Governor Punjab Salman Taseer. The duo was abducted from Lahore Last month. The policemen are waiting for a miracle to happen and the victim will reach safe to their residences. On the other hand, the top police officers from the IGP to the SSP Lahore are just holding meetings in their air-conditioned offices in fortified buildings. A couple of weeks ago, CM visited the residence of a police torture victim and paid Rs one million as compensation to the family of the deceased, who died in police custody due to sever torture. The Operations, Investigations and CIA wings of the City police have set up more than 150 private torture cells in the jurisdiction of 77 police stations in the provincial metropolis to 'interrogate the suspects. But did the Chief Minister take any practical step to stop extra-judicial killings in future? Is he interested in introducing police reforms? If the police torture another suspect to death during interrogation in future, will the CM again visit the victim family and give them more Rs one million from the national exchequer? The top cops, including IGP Javed Iqbal and CCPO must take steps to bring the much-needed change in the Thana Culture while the Punjab government should stop interference as far as postings and transfers in the police department are concerned.