Changing the thana culture


Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif has once again said that the thana culture should be further improved. I would like to ask the respected CM how it is possible to change the thana culture when the police force is politicised and not working as an independent institution.
When a posting or transfer of police officers is based on the discretion of the CM, how can a police officer perform his duties according to the prescribed rules? When hundreds of policemen are engaged in the personal security of officialdom, expecting the police force to serve the citizens is contradictory. Is the life of an ordinary citizen not as precious as that of a political leader?
To change the thana culture, it is imperative to change the present system of police recruiting, training, responsibilities and service structure. The system rules date back to the colonial era although the need of the day is an independent police institution where the recruitment of officers is based on qualification and merit.
In my opinion, a police officer should be no less than a graduate and policeman should have at least completed matriculation. Police officers should study and be trained for a minimum of two years before being made in charge of a police station. Similarly policemen should undergo at least one year training.
The service structure should follow the model of the army. Only then can the police performance change and the thana culture be chnaged.
The other important factor missing is the participation of the community in the working of the police and performance evaluations. Those new residential colonies which have their own security arrangement must be entrusted with part of the police functions such as protecting the property and maintaining law and order. Why are the people afraid of seeking help from the police?
Developing and encouraging community policing and revamping the whole police system is the need of the hour. Unfortunately, our political leaders are so busy in political point scoring and sparring with each other that they do not have the time to think and implement policies which contribute to the welfare of the people and which can really make a difference in the performance of the government.
Lastly, I suggest that the CM should also establish women police stations that are managed by women alone so that 50% of the population is given its due importance and equal rights.