The rampant robocops!

  • Are we moving towards legalised lawlessness?

Hazrat Ali (RA) stated; a society can survive with infidelity (Kufr), but not justice.

In the very light of the aforementioned touchstone for a society’s survival, the prevailing law and order situation in the country raises serious concerns regarding where we are headed as a society and a country. Not to be misled, here terrorism or extremism is not the subject, but it is the deteriorating everyday law and order conditions in the society; even if it is assumed that the menace of terror is eradicated completely from our midst.

The time is ripe to ask ourselves if terrorism is the “only” cause of anarchy in the country. The answer would certainly be no, if asked, and answered with sincere intent.

Whereas terrorism has, no doubt, been a major cause of vulnerable security, the politically influenced state institutions meant to protect and serve the law, unfortunately, are also putting their fair share in breaking bad, and violating the very standards of law, leaving the nation helpless  and at the mercy of prevailing circumstances.

The police, weather upon political directions or its own will, taking the law in its own hands by avoiding investigations into matters is a serious cause of concern as it has led to innocent killings

The police here have always borne the image of being more inclined towards serving the political masters rather than the general public, and stand out among the rest of state institutions in disrupting the law and order situation. Not to say that the entire police service is subject to the aforementioned. The service and sacrifices rendered by our brave and committed policemen in the line of duty, particularly in fighting the monster of terrorism, are commendable and have been applauded at all levels. The front-line role in the war against terror, and the dedication at all levels across the board in the police service, although may not be by a 100 percent, have been and deserve acknowledgement.

The recent trend of politically forced violence and extrajudicial killings, however, once again is likely to overshadow the good work done by the police service, returning it to the darkness of ill-repute.

The nation barely forgot the Model town incident of innocent killings during a peaceful political protest in Lahore, and the havoc raged by the media acclaimed figure of “Gullu Butt”, that the recent wave of extrajudicial killings in Karachi took the media by storm and shook the nation; that too when it was assumed that the city of lights has returned to its once lost life.

Of all the incidents, however, one that made headlines occurred on January 13, 2018 in Shah Latif Town, Karachi where four alleged militants of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were gunned down by team of policemen lead by SSP Malir, Rao Anwar, also known as “the encounter specialist”. Among the four killed was 27-year old Naqeebullah Mehsud, a shopkeeper and a fashion/modeling enthusiast, as claimed by his family opposed to the allegations made by Rao Anwar. Following the uproar of the incident over social media, and the constituted enquiry committee (by Sind government) issuing its initial investigation report into the matter stating that Naqeeb was killed in a fake encounter, the SSP Malir was removed of his office by the Inspector General (IG) Sind Police AD Khawaja. Amid the launch of FIR, Rao and his team members involved in the killing absconded and are nowhere to be found till date, reminding us of the very famous Mr India character.

The Supreme Court Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar also took suo motu notice of the case. Rao Anwar’s name has also been put on the Exit Control List (ECL). “We only want justice”, stated the slain’s father while appearing before the court.

Another incident resulted in a 19-year old boy’s killing allegedly by the Sind police’s Anti-Car Lifting Cell (ACLC) as he failed to stop his car upon the signal of the law enforcement authorities. Contrary to Naqeeb’s murder, the incident took place on Khayaban-e-Ittehad in the posh area of Defense Housing Authority (DHA), Karachi. The parents of the deceased have requested to the chief justice of Pakistan and the chief of army staff for provision of justice.

The police, weather upon political directions or its own will, taking the law in its own hands by avoiding investigations into matters is a serious cause of concern as it has led to innocent killings. Police officials instead of acting like, and becoming, robocops who act on fed instructions, must abide by the pre-requisites and standards of the law and the constitution, and must abstain from de-branding the institution of police. Under no circumstances should the police officials, being custodians of law and order, be allowed to spread lawlessness, and all necessary steps must be ensured to avoid the legalisation of lawlessness.

Instead, what is required at present is to re-brand the police as an ambassador of protection and service to the nation.