PESHAWAR: As essential as the police force is for a state, it is as important for that force to be professional and well-trained. There is no doubt about the fact that many police officers have sacrificed their lives while fighting terrorism in the past. But at the same time, many incidents and acts of police brutality have been covered up in the name of terrorism.
It seems like some police officials have lost track of their duties. A recent video that went viral shows an incident that occurred in Peshawar where a young man, Amir, was stripped naked and brutally beaten in the police station while being filmed. One can only imagine the humiliation and trauma he had to endure. Many such incidents go unnoticed and even when the victim calls for justice, it only leads to an investigation and suspension of the accused officers, while on the other hand the victim suffers the trauma for life. When it comes to building up an institution that has the means of violence, accountability is of utmost importance. Misuse of power and use of force against innocent citizens should not be tolerated. Police officials who are caught torturing citizens should be held accountable under criminal law.
It is essential to bring about a drastic change in the system. While punishing officers may curb the situation by instilling fear, there is a need for long-term solutions that are based on accountability and transparency.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 27th, 2020.
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