“In Pursuit of an Ethical State” – Reflections of a Police Chief by Dr. Kaleem Imam, moves you to the labyrinth of police offices exposing their shortcomings and the vulnerability, though seemingly the officer in uniform is very powerful in Pakistan. As the title suggests,hepoignantly points out the irregularities, corruption, and nepotism in the bureaucracy of “the Wasteland”. Exposing the decadences in the society where all are sailing in the sinking boat, the author sees the optimistic sailor who believes that the ‘will’, ‘conviction’ and the ‘right direction’ will rescue the ship out of crisis. Together with these saviours he envisions an “ethical state”, where justice is supreme, merit prevails and corruption erodes. Kaleem implores Muslims glorious history and sees the prosperity of West with envy but links their success in upholding justice system.
While the author was still in uniform holding powerful stick of a police officer, in his parting years he picked up yet another powerful and perpetual tool – the pen. The book is part biography, musingly takes you to a tour of bureaucratic circles, and in length discusses current issues, primarily concerning with our society. The prominent themes being good governance, capacity issues and respect for law. He vehemently opposes extra judicial activities adventures and argues with logic that taking law into hands does not behove well with those who are supposed to enforce the law - any such action never yieldspositive results. The plight of women, their latent potential and prospective role in shaping the future of the nation can be easily discerned from his thoughts. He explicitly touches upon the sensitive subject of blasphemy and grieves over the innocent victims who fell prey to the vested interests of those who always exploit the law to their nefarious designs.
The books is compilation of his articles published in national and international newspapers, journals and periodicals over last two years. Nicely, sifted into eight sections, each article is slightly tailored to the changing geo political environment and country’s fast emerging political land scape, especially concerning the war on terror. Many of the themes emerge from the freshly happened incidents where law enforcement agencies had to act or are involved directly or indirectly. His writing style is professional, straightforward, and fearless. He does not seem to be mincing words.
It can be argued that many of the reforms which he suggests and insists upon, especially in the police department, why he did not introduce them while he was in the department holding many coveted positions. While going through many articles, the reader may find the same idea being repeated, especially on ‘good governance’. Sometimes he seems to be using heavy diction which breaks the flow of the reader. Despite, these minor shortcomings, the collection is a master piece in a compact arrangement. The content are pregnant with thought provoking ideas and the form is captivating. I whole heartedly recommend “In Pursuit of an Ethical State” for each person of our society who loves this country and wants to play his or her part in prospering Pakistan. For the Police officers it is a must read being “reflections of a police chief”. They must seek inspiration and devote their energies, time and efforts in helping the oppressed and nabbing the oppressor. It is a tale of a police officer who despite all odds remained steadfast and earned respect. One must draw the inspiration to remain honest, sow the seed of his share and the let the fragranceof flowers be enjoyed by all. The book has recently been launched during Adab Festival in Karachi. The ceremony was moderated by Mr. Ghazi Salah Uddin and a large number of book lovers attended it.
ASAD ALI WAHIDI
— Asad Ali Wahidi is a Freelance Writer. He can be contacted at Email: