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Recruitment of ASPs

March 14, 2019

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THIS is apropos the report ‘Ex-IGs oppose restructuring of Superior Services’ (March 7). A group of retired inspectors general — AFIGP — has opposed the recommendation of the Task Force on Civil Service Reforms and Government Restructuring under the chairmanship of Dr Ishrat Husain, changing the recruitment and induction procedure of the police service.

The task force has proposed selection of ASPs by a special examination, considering the specialised nature of the force compared to other civil services.

Why should police leaders deceive themselves? In my batch of PSP, some ASPs were too fat to ride a horse and few others were too scared of the animal.

Since the 1990s, a large number of MBBS doctors have left their medical profession and joined PSP. What was their motivation when they were already employed in equivalent government grades and could have become medical professors? One such doctor PSP walks with both his legs and arms moving in the same direction, making the constables grin.

The truth is that the capacity of an ASP and a section officer in terms of command capabilities, weapon prowess, crowd management, crime investigation are nearly the same. Most senior officers cannot draft an FIR or write a case diary, much less complete the procedural formalities of a murder investigation.

Those leading anti-terrorism operations have never fired a rapid-fire weapon.

The police could draw upon ranker SPs for its professional image. But presently, it is nearly impossible for a ranker to rise above the level of an SP. But the status of an SP has been reduced to a DSP in the top-heavy organisational structure in the Police Order 2002.

The rank of DIG used to be the pride of a ranker officer as one or two outstanding officers achieved it in a decade. Khan Asghar Khan, Sardar Abdul Waqeel Khan, Siddiq Dogar, Mukhtar Gondal, Malik Basheer are shining examples.

This rank has been relegated to an SSP level. Hence, all district SP positions are occupied by PSP officers.

ASPs should be selected by the Federal Public Service Commission like army officers in ISSB-type examinations and provided in-service training at police academies.

Rafi Pervaiz Bhatti
Lahore

Published in Dawn, March 14th, 2019