AFTER a recent incident of harassment in a bank branch in Islamabad, the police acted on the basis of a video that was shared widely on social media, and arrested the accused (Nov 9). While it was prompt action, it was indeed taken on the basis of evidence readily available not just to the police but to almost anyone who wanted to have it. And yet, police authorities found it a performance worthy enough to award cash prizes and commendation certificates to the team which apprehended the accused. The arrest was not a result of some specific operation in which police personnel were exposed to some danger.
Incentives are important for boosting morale when they are limited to the recognition of exceptional acts of valour and professional excellence. The value of awards diminishes if they are given frivolously, and, ultimately, the entire process becomes counterproductive.
Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2020