LAHORE: In the last few days, the uproar in the bureaucratic circles of the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) and Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) on the recent police reform proposal has created further conflict.
In the wake of the ongoing tension between the elite of the two departments over the ‘controversial’ proposal, the recently reported pay raise of 150%, in the name of executive allowance, in the salaries of PAS officers have irked the police cadre further.
PSP officers have expressed their disapproval over the current police reforms proposal and ruled out, throughout the province, any possibility for the acceptance of the said proposal that they deemed is skewed in favour of PAS. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government conducted meeting with them to address their reservations and had sought recommendations. This furor was yet to subside when the news of this raise in pay came forth.
Former additional IGP Sarmad Saeed Khan, an active member of the Association of Former Inspectors General of Police, lashed out at the move and said that they were looking into this matter also and would take up the matter further. He termed this a dishonest and discriminatory move.
He commented that the executive allowance was just like hiring a driver at a particular salary for the work he does and the driver demanding a driving allowance much higher than the salary.
A senior serving police officer said that police risk allowance was freezed for many years and even after about a decade, only 80% of it was resumed.
The risk allowance is meager that did not see a pay rise of more than Rs3000-7000 from rankers to officers. The senior officer also termed the executive allowance a violation of the principle of equity.
The former additional IGP continued that risk allowance for police made sense as the majority of the force was in actual danger when on the ground for example officers of the Counter Terrorism Department, officers deputed at pickets, officers busy patrolling or officers on a hunting spree for criminals. “However, an executive allowance, that too 150% of basic pay, does not make any sense.”
He further said that after his team was done with this police reforms proposal dispute, they would address this issue also.
Cricket matches security
In the five months since Lahore Deputy Inspector General of Police Operations (DIG) Ashfaq Ahmad Khan and his team took charge in May, the team has yet to see a month where they are free from guarding any mega event.
So far the police under the DIG has successfully provided security to mosques, gatherings in Ramazan, prayer gatherings during Eidul Fitr, prayer gatherings during Eidul Azha, processions and Imambargahs in Muharram-ul-Haram and dozens of state level guests.
Securing international cricket matches is an uphill task ever since the attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team in March 2009. Countering repetition of any such possibility, the Lahore police’s top brass has been pre-occupied, for the last two to three weeks, with devising of security plans, taking different departments onboard and rehearsals for the cricket matches. The force has done well so far as no unpleasant incident has occurred in any of the matches. The remaining matches are also expected to pass peacefully.
However, the provincial government needs to rethink and revise its policy of reviving international cricket in Pakistan without burdening the citizens of the provincial capital. So far, the cricket match held has happened on the cost of citizens, causing nuisance to thousands of commuters and residents.
Chunian suspect held
The pedophile and serial killer, Sohail Shahzad in Chunian, was arrested last week. Police surveyed 26,251 persons, checked 4,684 houses, collected 1,734 DNA samples, profiled 904 drivers, analysed 8,307 phone data, and interrogated 3,117 suspects to crack the case.
The incident is one more lesson for Punjab Police that they need to revise their Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) regarding cases of violence against children. The police force needs to treat these cases on a priority basis and just not shelve these cases like they have done before as revealed in the case of Zainab murder case, Hasnain Khanwala case, Chunian case and others.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2019.