Might is right?

Strict action must be taken against police officers and against the blatant show of weapons as a means of intimidation

Editorial April 10, 2019

Recently, a video surfaced on social media showing police officers in Karachi harassing a family by blocking their car with a private vehicle. The video showed police officers, who were most-likely deployed for the security of the Additional IG they claimed to be acting on behalf of, armed with semiautomatic weapons and constantly ordering the family to leave their car and walk to the AIG to speak to him. The officers refused to tell the reason for stopping the civilians and when the female passenger approached the car, the AIG, in his high-handedness, claimed ‘you are blocking my door’. The video ends soon after, and what ensued later is not known.

The obvious take-away from this is the attitude of the police and their lack of concern and respect for civilians, as they order the family to leave their car and speak to the AIG, who makes sure not to show his face throughout the video, nor do the officers reveal his name. A guard also ensures to stand in front of the number plate of the car at all times. The guards are thoroughly armed and refuse to even give a reason for stopping the family.

In the wake of the Sahiwal incident, and lack of accountability, the police act recklessly, while civilians often cower in fear of any unforeseen incident. Moreover, even if one is in the police force, one does not have the jurisdiction to stop civilians for no apparent reason, especially in such a manner. Violations of traffic laws, as per the claims of the police here, are to be dealt by the traffic police and an officer acting on his own accord, in a private vehicle, without presenting his identity, is a clear violation of his jurisdiction. Strict action must be taken against such officers and against the blatant show of weapons as a means of intimidation.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2019.

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