Drug peddler in Punjab arrested for 20th time in 23 years

Published November 10, 2020
The police said Ali started the drug peddling in the 1990s and was nabbed first time by the city police on April 29, 1997, when he was only 17. — AFP/File
The police said Ali started the drug peddling in the 1990s and was nabbed first time by the city police on April 29, 1997, when he was only 17. — AFP/File

CHINIOT: The criminal justice system in Pakistan has failed to reform criminals and this can be gauged from the case of a habitual criminal who was arrested for drug peddling for the 20th time in 23 years.

The police have arrested Muhammad Ali, 40, of Mohallah Lahori Gate, and siezed 120 bottles of liquor from him. The police said Ali started drug peddling in the 1990s and was nabbed first time by the city police on April 29, 1997, when he was only 17. He was, however, released on bail.

Since then, he has been arrested from time to time in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2020.

He either gets a lesser punishment of fine or sentence up to three years and once he is released (either on bail or after the completion of his jail term), he resumes his criminal activities. The last time, he was arrested by Faisalabad district police on May 25, only to be released on bail.

Irfan Nekukara district bar secretary, said the country had no system to make such a person a law-abiding citizen. In the developed countries, sessions are held with such criminals in jails and they are helped by society and government to improve their conduct after their jail term is over. In Pakistan, people outcast them which force criminals to go back to the beaten paths, he added.

He demanded the government not only improve the jail system and teach the prisoners skills, Islamic teachings besides providing them soft loans.

District Police Officer Bilal Zafar Sheikh said there was a majority of criminals who continued their illegal activities whenever they got a chance to come out of jail. Jail authorities and society should play their role in making them beneficial citizens.

“We’re planning to involve the Citizens Police Liaison Committee and other stakeholders of society to urge such citizens to restart a new life when they come out of jail.

However, society should change the taboos attached with criminals and they should start hating only “crime” instead of “criminals”, he concluded.

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2020

Opinion

Editorial

Injustice undone
Updated 13 Jul, 2024

Injustice undone

The SC verdict is a stunning reversal of fortunes for a party that was, both before and after general elections, being treated as a defunct entity.
Looming flour shortage
13 Jul, 2024

Looming flour shortage

FOR once, it is hard to argue against the reason that compelled flour mills to call a nationwide strike from...
Same old script
13 Jul, 2024

Same old script

WHEN it comes to the troubling issue of enforced disappearances/ missing persons — either Baloch or belonging to...
Misery and despair
Updated 12 Jul, 2024

Misery and despair

Is a life lived happily and respectably too much to ask for from your country?
Temporary extension
12 Jul, 2024

Temporary extension

THE cabinet’s decision to allow ‘legal’ Afghan refugees — meaning those with Proof of Registration cards —...
Anti-smog strategy
12 Jul, 2024

Anti-smog strategy

BY acknowledging that smog is a year-round problem, and not just a winter issue, the Punjab government has taken the...