After the massacre of 45 Ismail’s, people are asking the Army to take over control of Karachi. I would agree with this proposal for a limited time, so that peace can be established in Karachi. However, the Army is not trained for carrying out police work and using the Army as such would affect their primary responsibility which is the defence of the country, externally and internally. The police setup in the whole country, not just Karachi, should be run on professional basis. Police officers should be appointed on merit, on their previous record and not on the basis of personal likes and dislikes of the ruling party.

Since the revival of democracy in the late 1980s, our political leaders have abused and degraded the Police department. In Islamabad four IGs were replaced in the past two years. An SSP is facing dismissal because of refusing an order to shoot on protesters in Islamabad, which he rightly believed would have caused another Model Town massacre incident. I would like to see a role for the Army, but as a facilitator they could help in training our police. They could be in the panel that selects the police officers for postings.

Since policing is a governance issue, other members of the panel could be the home secretaries, senior police officers and respected members of civil society. Along with food and job, good law and order is the right of all citizens. Sixty eight years are enough to develop a system of policing that can perform.


Islamabad, May 15.