Dawn News

Before turning Lahore into Paris

ROBBERS rule Lahore these days. The other day they looted Rs13m from a moneychanger in broad daylight, and goods worth Rs8m from the house of renowned singer Ghulam Ali besides prowling in different parts of the city. …These few robbery incidents have been quoted as a mere sample; the city is in the grip of an unending wave of dacoities. Not a single day passes without dozens of such occurrences. Citizens are being looted at their doorsteps and it appears that there is no security in the city.

In a recent function, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also mentioned the police’s failure to come up to the mark despite receiving billions of rupees. … The functioning of the police has been questionable from day one. There is a marked difference between the law-and-order-related performance of Mr Sharif’s first and present governments. The police station culture is the same as it was before the allocation of billions of rupees. Common citizens continue to be ignored in police stations even today. A citizen who confronts a crime faces another such event in the police station where no one is ready to guide or help him compensate for the lawlessness he faced.

One of the major reasons behind the rising number of robberies is that criminals do not fear the police anymore. …The few thefts that are traced waste so much time that the robbers spend the booty in the meantime and are therefore encouraged. The need is to make it compulsory for the police to detect every robbery without any delay. And for that purpose, the investigation department should be restructured along modern and scientific lines. … The current government is trying hard to give the metropolis an international look; but for this it is also required to ensure world-standard policing….—(Oct 18)

Selected and translated by Intikhab Hanif.

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