A law unto themselves, there is little doubt that the police has assumed the odious role of those they were supposed to hunt; and hence it is little wonder they have become the source of terror and insecurity for the general public. On Wednesday yet another incident of police brutality on innocent citizens reaffirmed this perception. According to reports, police officials in Kahna in Lahore arbitrarily picked up Abdul Sattar on trumped up charges and then started demanding a huge ransom from his relatives. The amount was too big for the poor family to pay. Consequently, Abdul Sattar was executed in custody. Not just that. The police unleashed intense violence on the grieved family protesting outside the police station. The baton charge was so violent that it resulted in the death of Abdul Sattars uncle on the spot. This outrageous act calls for stern action. Not only have the police failed to control the scourge of terrorism, it has itself been one of the biggest causes of misery for millions of Pakistanis. One point of view posits that the police are not that evil; they have rendered sacrifices in the war on terror. But this misses the basic point that it is because of their very own inefficiency, complete lack of professionalism and discipline that they are sitting ducks for terrorists. And what is more, it is the height of apathy that, despite going through this bad patch, reforming themselves is their last priority. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif has done well to order a judicial inquiry into the Kahna incident. But at the end of the day, only the right kind of legislation leading to a system of checks and balances would bring the desired change. A recent report revealing that the Sindh police were spending Rs 117 million on VIP security shows that the department is mainly concerned about providing protection to the ruling classes and is loathe to serve the public. The states duty to give security to the people cannot be fulfilled until and unless the police department is reformed.