EARLIER this month a man named Julien Chabbott was arrested as he ran over his $260,000 Ferrari sports car on a policeman’s foot who was writing him a parking ticket on a busy street in New York. According to sources, Chabbott can now face potential felony charges and, if convicted, possibly up to four years in prison.
This is one of the many examples from the West sending a staunch message that justice is equal for everyone, doesn’t matter how wealthy you are or what car you drive!
Such a reaction by the police towards someone owning a luxury car is inconceivable in Pakistan. Here, one is stopped and searched according to the car’s monetary worth. If one owns a motorbike or a hatchback, it’s likely that he’ll at least be stopped once before reaching his destination.
On the contrary, if he owns a ‘big car’ (what they call it), your comfort will not be cut short, even if you look like a Taliban from North Waziristan. Instead you’ll be greeted with a courteous salutes and/or smile and might even be offered tea (doodh pattee) from a pull in ( dhaaba). Chances staggeringly increase if the car has a green/blue number plate on it.
This is owed mainly to the previous and current inept governments’ improper selection criteria and training for police officials.
Karachi being the largest and most populous city in Pakistan comes at the third place in the list of the most dangerous cities of the world. Regardless of such alarming figures, the number of policemen allotted for the city’s protection is 32,000. More than half of them are ‘protecting’ the VIPs and VVIPs. Only a handful remain for our protection. Since 2003 almost 6,500 people have lost their lives in different violence-related incidents in the city. The blame-game continues but what is expected of a force so underpaid, untrained and uneducated.
To counter this inefficiency the government’s primary focus should be to properly train the police. A more disciplined form of training method with a relatively extended time period should be adopted to fill this gap.
This should include awareness about relevant criminal, constitutional and local laws and ascetic physical training in firearm use and self-defence. Most importantly, they should realise the importance of the already-laid code of conduct to be respectful towards the community irrespective of their status.
OMER MAHAR Karachi