Pakistan’s Policing Phenomena

"He who saves a nation breaks no law."

— Napoleon)
If anyone argues that the de facto irresistible vis-à-vis irreparable corruption, nepotism, black mailing & marketing, aristocracy cum autocratic hierarchy dishonesty is no longer prevailing in our society, my advice before their staunch judgment is to analyze your surroundings over and over, particularly in case of Pakistan where these features are considered essential ingredients for personal elevation.

From child to women abuse, incidents of Karo-Kari the so-called honor killing, kidnapping for ransom, killing of political figures, robbery, fraud forgery, business corporation fraud, rape, murder, extra-judicial killings in fact not a single crime is missing in a culturally rich civilized of Pakistan. Therefore police is considered as the first organ deal with these crimes at the very first place.

In the words of Ramsey Clark “Who will protect the public when the police violate the law.” In other words Ramsey depicts the real socio-empirical phenomenon over the role vis-à-vis rule of Police in policing, protecting and promoting human rights prevalent as a protagonist cum independent un-biased authoritative organization.

I may not depict and drag all the initially democratically established and later coup d’etat institution run by the government but in vox populi with particular reference of police department’s affairs code of conducts as well as coup de main is concerned they are not where they should be. From protection to investigation, interrogation and implementing power & order number of seasons with illogical reasons are provided for police offences either to deviate from the dedicated agenda or protect life & liberty of citizens.

Though I do believe it would be injustice or biased approach to judge all the protective shields i.e. police officials in a same fashion as one may find silver line of officials who are performing their sin quo non priorities in the line of duty. After all there is huge network of training, information; recruitment as well as finances is involved through out their professional life.

Yet satisfying the unsatisfied citizens stung by black sheep’s are in considerable denomination. According to Hubert H. Humphrey’s “There are not enough jails, not enough police, not enough courts to enforce a law not supported by the people.” Hence it is obligatory over the police department to ensure safety and security of public affairs.

Now the million dollar question is why there is an extreme public exaggeration is prevailing in our society? Besides, why majority is of the opinion that instead of protecting human rights police is protecting personal rights? What and where is wrong that need dire conditions to implement cum execute as first and foremost priority? What sort of stumbling blocks society at present is facing due to excessive violation in the human right provisions? Besides what society in general and police department in particular is performing to remove these impediments for the betterment of peaceful-coexisting society irrespective of the fact how divided society is in terms of class conflict, racial and religious enterprise. Over and above what kind of improvement is needed to protect and promote human rights affairs so that it will improve the area of observation, indication, and image building of police at large?

However, the role and rule of police protecting human rights is must to highlight as the utmost requirement of society with in a state in which right of life, love and liberty are the prominent prime provisions of life not just for an existing human being but for the posterity that would shape-up the politically, socially and economically stronger nation.

Whether it is the question of protecting life, property, religion and public morale, police possesses the intimate connections with social life. By and large Police agencies as a legitimate authority operates with effectiveness, lawfully and humanely are essential elements in securing a social order for all human rights to be realized. Therefore extremism is out of question where too narrow view of police is involved and where too broad a view is undesirable.

Goldstein was the person who identified the fundamental set of police functions such as;

1. To prevent and control conduct widely recognized as threatening to life and property

2. To aid individuals who are in danger of physical harm, such as the victims of violent attack

3. To facilitate the movement of people and vehicles

4. To assist those who cannot care for themselves, the intoxicated, the addicted, the mentally ill, the physically disables, the old, and the young

5. To resolve conflict, whether it be between individuals, groups or individuals, or individuals and their government

6. To identify problems that have the potential for becoming more serious problems

7. To create and maintain a feeling of security in communities

Though these are western but absolute guidelines for adoption of police but the question is are these fundamental truths executing in our national environment where police is considered the prime suspect of messing up already deteriorated public affairs. Torture, inhuman treatment of suspects, arbitrarily detention and lack of security of detainees are few but pathetic status quo of human rights violation facts prevailing in our society that had further exasperated public hatred towards policing.

Amnesty International while emphasizing police behavior reported as; "We believe that these incidents are only the visible signs of deeper problems in the police and the broader criminal justice system of which it is a part. These problems include: an incomplete legislative and procedural framework; inadequate training; lack of effective oversight; a lack of understanding of the rule of law; and the absence of a judiciary capable of effective implementation of the law."

Mainly there are three basic functions for police to carry out i.e.

1. Protecting peoples

2. Promoting safe and secure environment

3. Suspecting, identifying and removing the stumbling blocks society is facing in terms of human rights perspective.

But the irony starts where constitution of Pakistan with the basic fundamental rights is not approached by the policing agencies. Let’s have a look what the constitution of Pakistan depicts about human rights provisions provided with the help of police, its progression and performance.

Article 8 – Constitution of Pakistan depicts the supreme fundamental rights where any law or custom or usage having force of law inconsistent with Fundamental Rights shall be void.

Article 9, 10, 12 & 13 –” Right to life & liberty is ensured.

– On arrest or detention in custody, person is to be told grounds for such action & has the right to consult and be defended by legal practitioner of his/her choice.

– Arrested person is to be produced before the Magistrate within 24 hours of arrest; any detention beyond this period without the Magistrate’s authority is illegal. (Exceptions: people taken into preventive detention. However, there is also a specified procedure for such detention.)

– For one crime/offence the accused cannot be punished twice

– The accused cannot be forced to give witness against herself/himself

Article 14 –” guarantees privacy of home and forbids torture for the purpose of extraction of evidence. Police or any other state agency can enter a home only after obtaining lawful authority (in writing, naming person & purpose of entry – e.g., arrest or recovery of stolen goods).

Unfortunately from broader cum practical perspective these provisions either enjoy absolute absentia or exercising at non-existence basis when the question comes to implement these provisions with police order. If the plenipotentiaries are promoting the noble cause of public safety then the low cadre is not following the given order and if the lower staff is promoting the general welfare then some how high-ups are absent to meet the requirements. As I had mentioned earlier that we can not drag the entire police lobby in to a single suspect net as good and evil persist side by side.

However it is equally wrong to narrate one sided story i.e. public prosecution against police antagonism, after all police tasks are conducted by humans not aliens albeit they have their own restrictions and obligations as well as personal priorities to maintain. They services they provide are not on quid pro quo basis as government provides meager salaries, with lack of housing, medical, schooling facilities for lower police staff. In return their own security is next to none. Many police officials had died during police encounters and raids. Besides, how astute officer while serving the line of duty meet his fate is before everyone’s evidence and later garnishing them with medals, titles and awards is this what they are hire for. Under these circumstances if anyone considers police officers or department corrupt, they must give at least a second thought to their personal cum working positions.

In my opinion, nothing would be changed until and unless all the sides whether it is government, police and public are not secured in their own position. Constitutional framework, time to time accountability process, performance evaluation, financial assessments, judicial reviews, facilitating schemes for personnel’s family perspectives, training not jut for the elevation of grade but to confirm the judicious desired performance are few recommendations to improve the performance and progress of police force.

Besides planning the recommendations, actions are desired instead of words as I believe implementation of a single improvement factor would bring a major visible change not just to the satisfaction of society but in the performance and image of police society as well.

Yet some how it is difficult to covert the half cooked half baked perception regarding irreparable role or rather modus operandi of police department in general and police officials in particular, as majority is of the opinion that they will never seek justice from the preliminary justice providers once they’ll entrapped in misfortune phenomenon.

I personally believe violation is not a single nation phenomenon to over come as it exist anywhere anytime but the curbing force should be strong enough to combat its evil persistence from grass root level. Hence the role of police department and police officials in particular to carryout their task of maintaining law and order situation, corruption and nepotism is must to eradicate along with their personal safety & security in terms of finances, their family welfare and future perspectives.

Thomas Wilson was of the opinion that “there is no greater religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed.” Hence the protection of basic fundamental rights should be the first and foremost duty of serving and up-coming police officers who are bound to ensure the safety cum security of people as this is the piece de résistance for which they are elevated to serve as a protecting agency for the common people.