The biggest fake staff scandal has hit the Punjab police, where at least 136 police officers have been dismissed from service and booked under the Anti-Terrorism Act. Several bogus officials had been performing security duty for the Prime Minister and other VIPs in the past. They had been employed by a gang of cops that gave jobs to a large number of unqualified jobseekers and had been actively operating in the Central Police Office for years with impunity.

This recruitment scandal is the most shocking in the history of the 180,000 strong police force, involving corruption worth millions of rupees. What is even more worrisome is the fact that such an elaborate network of bogus police officers had been operating at key government positions and have been protecting VIPs. Nothing can be said yet about their links with militant groups working against the state. Was this merely a matter of providing some job to make a quick buck on the side, or a more elaborate plan to infiltrate the already weak police force and use it for terrorist activities? Either way it is the utter failure of the Punjab government, which has been boasting of police reforms and transparency with which it functions.

It was learnt through reliable sources that the gang, headed by an assistant director and comprising superintendents, assistants and clerks at the IGP’s office, had issued fake appointment orders with real signatures and office stamps. The gang had collected bribes worth millions of rupees from unemployed youth to provide them with jobs in the police department. The phony appointments were made on the posts of sub-inspectors, assistant sub-inspectors and constables and that too in areas like Multan and other districts of the province from the Central Police Office.

It is often said by independent research groups, that the Pakistan Police is the most corrupt establishment in the country. The Punjab Police has been in the eye of the storm this year with anti police sentiment running high since the Kasur scandal also attributed to the utter negligence of the Police force and their failure to protect the citizens. Cases of torture, bribes, and unwarranted arrests are commonplace.

This is just another straw on the broken back on the camel that is our civilian security apparatus.

The police force is supposed to be the savior of the common man where instead, it is a source of fear and terror. The Rangers operation in Karachi was welcomed because of the utter uselessness of the police to bring the law and order situation under control. The police are making it too easy for the Rangers to come and take over the Punjab province as well, as they are failing at every level of accountability; internally and externally.