THIS is apropos my letter ‘Police officers’ postings’ (May 19) and response thereto (May 25 and June 1).

My colleagues in Pakistan are extremely fortunate that the criticality of their relationship with the chief minister does not result in the termination of their jobs, but mere transfer from one post to another. Sirs, you are campaigning for anarchy in the name of autonomy. Please don’t do that.

Why complain that ‘the honest officers are generally labelled uncooperative, unhelpful and rigid and often sidelined?’ If a district SP is transferred to an equivalent post of SP, special branch, or SP crimes branch, why should he crib if he is honest?

Crime investigation is just one aspect of police duties and the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 and Police Rules 1834 make the investigating officer subordinate to law only.

Law envisages complete operational autonomy and no deputy commissioner, court or political boss can interfere in the legitimate course of an investigation.

But law and order control is an inalienable responsibility of the government. Not only economic progress but also the very survival of the government depends upon public peace given the peculiar culture of incessant rallies, sit-ins, long marches and political power shows. No political government can afford to lose total and uninhibited subordination of the district SP.

Our PSP pundits remained armed with absolute powers for 17 continuous years after the promulgation of Police Order 2002 that killed the time-tested institution of deputy commissioner. What reform has the common man on street felt in the thana culture? It has gone from bad to worse.

In Islamabad while a man’s most precious possession — his teenage daughter — is being raped and killed, an arrogant and unresponsive SHO is making him sweep the floors of the police station. In rural Bahawalnagar, a media lady posing as the cousin of a kidnapped girl, in a sting operation, is made to give body massage to an SHO in preparation of the intended rape. Have Imran Khan or Usman Buzdar stopped you from changing the culture of corruption, high-handedness and arrogance?

What operational independence do you need? For a sublime moment, be honest.

Rafi Pervaiz Bhatti
Former PSP Officer
United States

Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2019