Mr. Sohail Habib Tajik
Inspector General Police
Dear Mr. Tajik,
I am writing about badly needed Police Reforms in Azad Jammu Kashmir. I know you are trying to improve the system and you have a remarkable team of DIGs and some SPs who I think can help improve the system with the cooperation of civil society and required resources, but as a citizen with natural interest in the improvement of society, I would like to share my thoughts as well.
Realistically, no society and system is perfect but ours lack the basic qualities and ingredients. My claim is based on my qualitative data obtained through my years long interactions with all National Institutions. We may have not improved them but we have at least created awareness.
The most disturbing fact is that system is generally run by the will and whims of officials at the desks and manipulative politicians , instead of rule of law. There are certainly some good officials as well but as soon as they are replaced, rules may go out of the window. It happens due to a weak professional hierarchy, where duty officers are more responsive to politicians than their superior. For instance, to my amazement, one SHO once described an unemployed son of a minister as his boss. I had to tell the SHO that his boss was his SP.
It is also a common practice not to investigate any complaint unless the complainant struggles persistently. Even if the complaints are investigated, the majority of them are done at the expense of victims.
I know Police Superintendents and SHOs don’t have sufficient budget but I also know that it depends how well the budget is managed and prioritized. Some officers even improve the system with the same amount of budget. One example is that of SP Irfan Saleem, who computerised the system when he was in Kotli. It speeded up link between SP office and Police stations and people no longer needed to travel back and forward to get their documents attested.
In view of my observations, I suggest the following:
1. Police training, resources and equipment should be improved.
2. Citizen-centred attitude of the staff.
3. Promoting procedure and discouraging jirga or political involvement in police stations.
4. Increasing the Financial Power of SPs and SHOs to stop the financial burden of investigation on victims, bribes in other words.
5. Protection of a professional police officer who refuses to give in to manipulative politicians.
6. Developing a system of job satisfaction.
7. Cybercrime is a new phenomena. A specific legal framework, training and resources are required in the fast changing world.
13. 10. 2021