Home News Analysis Politicized police in Sindh and Punjab: Should PTI be blamed?

Politicized police in Sindh and Punjab: Should PTI be blamed?

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News Analysis |

Opposition leaders lashed out at the government for its failure to control the law enforcement agencies in the country. Opposition lawmakers were expressing their views over the Sahiwal incident where 4 people were killed in an allegedly staged encounter. Three days ago, Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) conducted an operation on GT Road where three adults and one kid was killed who were reportedly going to a village to attend a marriage ceremony.

Later on, three little kids who survived appeared on social media and refused the statements of the CTD. The CTD’s initially said that those killed in operation were kidnappers and later on it claimed that they were terrorists killed by their own companions. Finally, the CTD confessed to what it had done and maintained that only one person was a terrorist in the car.

PM Imran Khan had said in a tweet after losing 2013 general elections that “PMLN runs Punjab as a fascist entity & without a politicized Punjab police & PMLN’s armed goons it would not have won even 20 seats.” 

It is worth mentioning that at the outset of National Assembly session, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president and leader of opposition in the house Mr. Shahbaz Sharif called for the suspension of regular proceedings so the debate could be held on the Sahiwal tragedy. His request was accepted by the House. Speaking on the floor of the assembly, Mr. Shahbaz said the government must tell people the truth behind the incident.

He said the opposition won’t rest until it unearthed the truth. “The worst brutality has taken place in Sahiwal. A house committee should be made to review the JIT report on the incident,” he suggested, adding that the opposition won’t let the House function unless the government agreed to address the matter.

Read more: What is wrong with our police?

Moreover, former defense minister Khawaja Asif criticized the CTD for its criminal negligence and inhumane behavior. Calling out the force over brutal killings, Asif said, “Those who should eliminate terrorism have themselves become terrorists.”

“The Punjab government has become a party in the [Sahiwal encounter] matter,” Mr. Asif referred– in an apparent allusion– to the press conference of the Punjab law minister wherein the latter had endorsed CTD’s narrative. Opposition leader and former defense minister demanded a parliamentary committee to probe into the matter so that the truth could be uncovered.

Federal Minister for Human Rights Ms. Shireen Mazari countered the opposition and termed their protest as a political tactic to seek public support.

Even after the mentioned fact, unlike former CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, PTI government was quick to condemn the killings, to form a JIT, and to suspend the officials involved.

As a matter of fact, police in Punjab and Sindh is politicized and used by the politicians for their vested political interests. PM Imran Khan had said in a tweet after losing 2013 general elections that “PMLN runs Punjab as a fascist entity & without a politicized Punjab police & PMLN’s armed goons it would not have won even 20 seats.”

PM Khan had promised to change the system of police in Punjab was after been elected to power. Initially, he gave the task to former KP police head Mr. Nasir Durani to reform the police but after developing some issues with the Punjab administration Mr. Durrani decided to step down.

Read more: “Police should be strong and independent force,” says top Pakistani judge

Moreover, analysts argue that the institutions have been badly damaged by the previous government and all blame cannot be put on the present government which is yet to complete its first year in the office.

Analysts also believe that before the PML-N leadership blames new government for Sahiwal incident for the sake of political gains, it should think about Model Town incident whose victims still await justice. For a decade, PML-N ruled Punjab province, and the incumbent government has been in office merely for six months. The government would need time to reform the institutes, PML-N ruined in 10 years. Even after the mentioned fact, unlike former CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, PTI government was quick to condemn the killings, to form a JIT, and to suspend the officials involved.

Read more: The Punjab Police: Law enforcers or blackmailers?

And also, before leaving for Qatar, PM Khan once again promised to review the structure of police in Punjab and to improve it. “The grief & anger of the ppl of Pak on Sahiwal incident is understandable & justified. I assure the nation that when I return from Qatar not only will the guilty be given exemplary punishment but I will review the entire structure of Punjab police & start the process of reforming it.”


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