Another incident of loss of innocent civilian life at the hands of the police has emerged in Karachi, once again giving rise to the debate around police protocols and the blatant use of authority disregarding the casual loss of civilian loss. The incident occurred after two individuals were found in possession of an intoxicant and refused to stop for the police. Although the police did not find anything else on them, they still decided to chase them. While the police have the authority to go after individuals they find suspicious, what is worthy of questioning is under what authority did they fire at these individuals, keeping in mind the kind of threat they posed.

There is a dire need for reforms in the law enforcement agencies due to the abuse of power that we witness often. Even if a case is pursued, more often than not, the suspected individuals are acquitted of charge due to a lack of sufficient evidence. A similar outcome was witnessed in the case of the Sahiwal incident where family members casually lost their lives because the law enforcement agency had not completed its own investigation. In this case, a case has been registered against the policemen at the Artillery Maidan police station under Section 302 (punishment for murder), 324 (attempted murder), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code and the 7-ATA (Anti-Terrorism Act).

 Incidents like these at the hands of the police have added to the mistrust in the institution in the general public. The federal government needs to push all provincial governments to take charge of the police departments and ensure that proper protocols are in place. Any casual loss of civilian life should not occur and if it does at the hands of the police, then they should be penalised. The law in place should make it difficult for them to be acquitted instead of walking out free and performing the task of protecting the citizens - which they have proved themselves incapable of.

 Policemen should be able to assess the level of threat and how to respond to it. A mere case of an intoxicant should not have resulted in the loss of lives. While the police may have established their supremacy over the public but in doing so, they took away a precious life - one they need to be accountable for now.