PESHAWAR: Though a process of accountability is underway in the police in Pakistan’s northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province to make the department truly professional and service oriented, the recent arrest of policemen over the kidnapping for ransom suggests there is a dire need for regular surveys to know about the conduct of other personnel before their appointment to sensitive positions.
In the second week of current month, three elite force personnel were arrested during a raid on a house in the limits of Khazana police station on the outskirts of Peshawar from where two kidnapped businessmen were recovered, so police cannot be totally cleared of the charges of abetment in the crimes.
According to a relevant official, all arrested policemen were given duties of very serious nature and at the time of raid, they have opened fire on police in order to evade arrest.
The weaknesses and negligence on part of policemen can be judged from the fact that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General Nasir Durrani has suspended around 350 police personnel of different ranks for one reason or the other and some of them have been charged in criminal cases.
However, the process has been initiated on public complaints, while there is no internal process for checking routine of policemen to ascertain if they are still loyal to the department or have developed nexus with anti-state and anti-social elements.
The official said a pair of police uniform, a jeep with siren, and a wireless set had also been recovered from them and that they were sent on judicial remand. “Now, it is up to judiciary and police department to either exonerate the personnel of the charges or punish them.”
It is not the first case of its kind.
There are many instances of the police’s high handedness and the real situation can easily be judged from complaints against police.
There are also reports that during the war on terrorism, some policemen had developed relations with banned outfits and therefore, they always tried to get posted to checkpoints close to areas bordering tribal areas.
For police bosses, the frequent news conferences at local press clubs by people in distress are enough to take action against the policemen charged with abusing powers and abetting criminals.
The officials also admit that there are several cases of police caught supporting criminals, including land grabbers, car snatchers and blackmailers. However, the faulty system let most of them off the hook.