FOR some time now, the Punjab district of Kasur has been the go-to place for anyone wanting to create an example in law-and-order turnaround. Prime Minster Imran Khan took up the challenge when, a couple of months back, he promised to turn the Kasur police into a model force. Since then, the reform-focused police command in the district has notched up some encouraging initial successes. The complaint redress percentage has jumped from an abysmal 19.4 to 78.14, according to a report based on police performance in the two months after the capture of an alleged serial rapist-killer on Oct 2. The jump in itself makes it clear how desperate the police were for a boost in quality. Under trying conditions, the force has also returned to some basic requirements of good policing. The report on police performance says that the force has prepared the profiles of 3,000 ‘known bad characters’ allegedly linked to sexual offences — the number once again, prima facie, advocating vigilance and policing of the highest order.
If it was the cases of serial rape of children and alleged child pornography rackets that drew attention to Kasur, the focus must remain there until a better system to tackle the menace of crime is in place. Public concerns have been met with assurances and some practical steps such as a bigger presence of the Child Protection Bureau in the district. The model police the prime minister envisaged, however, are yet to arrive. The material and human resources which were to be provided for a better functioning of the 20 Kasur police stations are stuck up somewhere on the way, one major reason being the constant reshuffling in provincial police ranks. A request by Kasur for 87 sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors was refused by other districts. They said they could hardly spare any officers when they had not enough to effectively see to their own operations. For the prime minister’s model to take shape, resources will have to be created and groomed afresh.
Published in Dawn, December 10th, 2019