o implement this strategy, colossal efforts had to be made to bring the government on board. I had many sleepless nights. But when the force realized that I had consciously put my neck on the chopping block, they started following me as one cohesive and competent entity. This made a crucial difference and my optimism increased.

The most critical factor impacting the performance and conduct of the Motorway Police was unity of command. Mainly, police high handedness and corruption result from dual control. The police are responsible for almost everything on earth but has no authority with a Magistrate present. It is critical that Authority and Responsibility are vested at the same place. The public firmly believes that the police is corrupt and inefficient. With foundations made up of lies and corruption, the entire structure is designed to fall like a house of cards. It is not just the police, it’s the entire “criminal justice system”. Police management is like a quagmire. The span of control is so wide that only a state of welter can prosper. For example, the IG Punjab, a grade 21/22 officer has a force over 150,000, that can only be managed with a magic wand. The restructuring of the police is imperative for two reasons. Firstly, the span of command is so wide that management is impossible. Secondly, nearly 90 percent of the force lacks power or authority.

On the Motorway, both issues were addressed to perfection. For M2, there were only two SSPs having four beats each to command about 250 odd officers. The officer ratio was significantly increased. Each officer knew his force, their problems and needs. Coupled with this, power was delegated to the lowest levels empowering all ranks.

The Evidence Act is so unrealistic that it is impossible to secure a conviction without padding. Likewise, many others including the Police Order, which is so reformist and reactionary, that it had portents to flounder from the very inception. All laws that are not implementable or have poor alien ideas need to be immediately revised. The British had designed the Police along Paramilitary lines. There was more emphasis on training, parading, riding and shooting i.e., all brawn and little brain. They were trained primarily to obey. We are still suffering from the same syndrome and need to usher in Community Policing to provide relief and safety.

The system we inherited is based on mistrust and centralization of powers. This has prospered and been further compounded through administrative orders withdrawing powers of lower ranks. Today, the Constable, a police officer under law and head constables have no authority. Accordingly, only 12.2 percent of the force is working while the rest are dummies.

On the Motorway there is total delegation and trust down to the lowest level. For duties discharged in good faith full protection was given, but there was speedy and stringent accountability for any misdemeanor established. It illustrated the Rule of Law can be established and nepotism and corruption can be weeded out. When VVIPs and VIPs were prosecuted, commuters started complying voluntarily. Motorway Police Officers faced contempt notices and I was summoned by National Assembly Speaker, Supreme Court Judges, Chief Ministers and others, but we did not budge.

One fundamental factor was political will. If the government and bureaucracy are on the same page, anything is possible.

Leadership is the other key to this success story. While a predecessor advised the government that in Pakistan such a force was a utopia, many colleagues offered me safe havens for feigning sickness. I was tempted but didn’t succumb and decided to run the gauntlet. In a matter of weeks Rule of Law was established and the entire Police force stood behind me like a solid rock. Single handedly I couldn’t have achieved anything. Total delegation, trust, support and leading from the front were the cornerstones.

How unwanted serving policemen became honest, efficient and polite is unbelievable. A sober and deeper appraisal is imperative because every government without exception has failed to reform the bureaucracy or police. Painfully the apathy lies in the department itself. Many argue that reform is not possible and that the example of the Motorway Police cannot be applied to cases of terrorism and crime. This is a grave fallacy and a mere excuse.

It has been established that the core issues for reforming all policing disciplines are, leadership, societal and political will, unity of command, restructuring, empowerment and delegation. No commission or committee is required for this because we have sufficient plans and strategies. All we need is implementation and good leadership.

The writer is the Former IG, Federal Secretary, Chairman and President of the AFIGP. He can be contacted at iftirashid@yahoo.com

If the govern-ment and bureau-cracy are on the same page, anything is possible.