Reforming Punjab Police

There can be no more compro-mises on our safety and security.

Nasir Khan Durrani, the man who re­formed the police in KP was sent to Punjab in 2018 to clean up the accu­mulated mess in the law enforcement appa­ratus in the largest province of the repub­lic. Inspector General Durrani opened his innings with enthusiastic energy. His enthusiasm proved to be short-lived. Only after a few months on the job, he stepped down. He spent his spare time at the club like other retired civil servants and finally fell victim to coronavirus in April 2021, thus ending the glorious innings of an able and upright police officer.

Before him, Abbas Khan, another upright officer, held a press conference in the decade of the nineties as IG Punjab.

On June 17, 2014 a tragedy took place in Model Town in broad daylight and under the watchful eyes of the cameras. Live ammuni­tion was reportedly fired by Punjab Police, resulting in the deaths of workers of Paki­stan Awami Tehreek (PAT). There were 17 fatalities, and over 100 injured. Rana Sanaul­lah, the current interior minister was blamed for the tragedy and he briefly stepped down as provincial home minister.

Similar ugly scenes were witnessed on May 25, 2022 to stop the peaceful PTI long march. Workers and activists were picked up from their homes without war­rants those who resisted were badly beaten and bruised. All exit points of Lahore were blocked. Dr Yasmin Rashid’s SUV was bad­ly damaged when she tried to enter the Mo­torway. Even after the fall of Hamza govern­ment, neither purging nor punishing the criminals was carried out. Then on Novem­ber 03, 2022, an assassination attempt was made on Imran Khan while leading a Long March in Wazirabad. Despite being a popu­lar leader and former PM, he has not been able to lodge an FIR of the incident.

A few years back I personally faced an in­teresting situation. My mother was out of the country, so I went to check her house. Due to sectarian threats, a police guard had been posted at the Imambargah across the road. As the weather was really warm I left my car running with the air conditioner right outside the gate of the house waiting for the Chowkidar to come out. Under the gate, I saw the wheels of my automobile turning. Hurriedly I came out to stop the theft of my prized possession. To my utter surprise the person who was trying to drive away my ve­hicle was in uniform, he was one of the po­lice guards posted at the Imambargah. When I pulled him out his plea was interesting; “I was merely trying to teach you a lesson not to leave your car running outside the gate.” The crowd that gathered was divided, while half wanted to beat him the rest wanted him to be handed over to the police. He was turned in to be with his peers, who I am sure provided him protection after we had left.

Having closely watched the work of the Punjab police, I firmly believe that the force is beyond redemption; it has to be raised again. Nasir Durrani has perished but a few good officers like Abbas Khan remain. Their experience and expertise can be put to good use in raising a force that will serve not tor­ment the already tormented. There can be no more compromises on our safety and securi­ty. Disband Punjab Police, raise a new force with a clear mandate to serve.

Dr Farid A Malik
The writer is Ex-Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation, email:

The writer is Ex-Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation, email:

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