Last year(2012), I read government has extended Quota system in Sindh for 20 more years, which was prevalent for the past 40 years, while there is no such quota system in Punjab or may be other provinces of Pakistan. Someone said that, we have to thank ZA Bhutto who brought this to the nation, pretty much divided the country. The quota system introduced in the 1973 Constitution to ensure that all areas of Pakistan were represented in government service was declared repugnant to Islamic injunctions by the Federal Shariat Court in 1992. However, this law still exists because the federal government and two provincial governments filed appeals against the Shariat Court decision. These appeals remain pending with the Appellate Bench. Quota system for the time being is ok for a greater education access, for the underprivileged, but not for any other case eg hiring/jobs, as it becomes discrimination, which you know is prohibited in Islam, may it be on the basis of race, color, family, land, or ethnicity. You cannot favor one over the other.
Example of Civil Services:
According to the current recruitment policy listed at the Central Superior Service of Pakistan website, only 10% of posts are reserved for merit. FPSC (Federal Public Services Commission) allocates jobs in civil services institutions (every govt. organization, eg WAPDA, EOBI, Steel Mills, Railways, FBR, Excise & Taxation, Water board, Finance, SBP, including Sindh Police, etc) on the basis of merit and provincial or regional quotas. As per their rule, they are:
Merit (only 7.5 %)
Punjab (including the Islamabad Capital Area) (50%),
Sindh (rural) (11.4%),
Sindh (urban) (7.6%),
Gilgit-Baltistan and FATA (4%)
Azad Jammu and Kashmir (2%).
Police Strength in Pakistan – Comparison:
Now, ponder on further facts:
1. There’s no concept of bribery in Islamabad Traffic police.
2. There is no concept of mobile phones snatching in Lahore city, even during late hours.
Why they say that you cannot bribe almost any policeman of Islamabad Traffic police, while it is a everyday business to bribe Karachi Traffic Police and get away with the fine? Have Islamabad police recruited British policemen? How come they are educated, have moral values and are paid well ? Why can’t that be done in Karachi ?
Someone said, Quota System is only in Sindh because there was a wider divide between Urban and Rural Sindh population of Sindh. So, I did some more research and found following (from Pakistan Bureau of Statistics 1998 survey):
Proportion of Population:
Sindh urban 48% Sindh Rural 51%
Punjab urban 31% Punjab Rural 68%
So, this is certainly not the case as you can see there is a greater divide in Punjab than Sindh. I did more research and found:
Sindh Police vs Punjab Police:
Punjab Police: 180,000
Serving Population: 81 million
Police:Citizen Ratio 1:444
Sindh Police: 105,000
Serving Population: 46 million
Police:Citizen Ratio 1:438
So, they’re equal in size, but how about Karachi vs. Lahore. I could only find estimates from Dawn report (2008):
Karachi Police vs. Lahore Police:
Lahore Police: 30,946 for a population of ~9 million.
Ratio: 1: 287
Karachi Police: 34,155 for a population of ~16 million.
Ratio: 1: 571
Here we have a stark difference, almost half the ratio of police vs citizens in Karachi vs Lahore. Then they say in Lahore, there’s no concept of mobile theft in Lahore and no fear of staying late in the streets at night. Why wouldn’t there be. Also note, roughly 7000 personnel are deployed on VIP security, so this ratio would further deteriorate in Sindh.
Now compare that with other cities of the world:
London police: 1: 155 (Police considered best in the world)
Dehli police: 1: 241
Mumbai police: 1: 357 (most suitable match for Karachi)
Lahore police: 1 : 287
Karachi police: 1: 571
If I compute with actual population of Karachi, ie 30+ million and minus the fact, that personnel deployed on VIP security, the ratio would be worse then 1:1000.
Other Reasons of Sindh Police failure:
When Karachi police strength is so low, most of them would feel overpowered by the criminals, so they might not even try to perform their duties. While their salaries are said to be very low, that makes another excuse for them to avoid duty and earn through bribes, to make both ends meet. The reputation of Sindh Police(Karachi) is so bad, it’s synonymous to criminals. Most of the time, they are involved in the crime, eg residential robberies, mobile snatching (they’ve a cut, most of the time). Nobody hopes anymore that their stuff could ever be recovered through police. Many don’t even want to report the incident, as they fear further harassment by police, in terms of bribe for recovery. However, when there’s a will to investigate, they know very well about each and every incident (who committed, what, where and when). They don’t act because of various factors, eg low salary, lack of skills and lack of proper weapons, lack of knowledge of the society and their customs, lack of education, as most of them are hired on the basis of quota system, in disregard of merit.
Also note , thanks to quota system, all of our provinces represent their respective races and the largest political parties represent their respective race. With that in practice, another element of corruption is political influence in the police.
Who comes into power (authority over Sindh Police), tends to exploit it to the fullest, supporting their party and targeting their opponent party or parties.
When the political party is not representative of the city resident, then injustice results into widespread hate against the police.
As if their strength is already not low, around 7000 of the meager 34000 police force are deputed on VIP security and 3000 on investigation. While the rest of 15000 are deployed in 109 police stations to cover 3500 square km area of Karachi, out of which 19 stations run without any personnel.
So, that equates to roughly one police stations per 32 square km area. This VIP protocol culture is equally common in Lahore and other cities, where it eats up major portion of the police budget.
Rangers in the city:
When we talk about L&O, we can’t omit the presence of Rangers in the Karachi. Well, that is a military force, trained fundamentally to fight with the enemy and deployed on the borders. This means, it certainly has no place in the city, controlling civics amenities. Because, they lack the education and skills for it. The city was shocked to know about this fact, when a video was leaked through a TV channel, showing the cold-blood, merciless and extra-judicial killing of a civilian at the hands of Rangers at Benazir Bhutto park in Clifton. They’re trained to combat against armed adversary, they lack civic skills.
If there was a lack of personnel in Police, ideal would be to inducted more in Police, increase its funding. If there’s a lack of equipment and advanced armors, Police should have been provided funds and such resources and trainings, instead of bringing in Rangers.
Since the city is the cash capital of the country, everyone can be accommodated and everyone gets their living, and so are Rangers, which is causing Karachi ‘s exchequer Rs. 1.4 billion every year(2012), while enjoying permanent residence in many areas, encroachments and occupation of land, to water-tanker business, marriage halls and so on. It simply does not make any sense to have army(Rangers) of 18000 personnel deployed permanently in cities. Out of 24000 Rangers assigned for Sindh, which should be protecting our borders, 18000 are stationed inside the cities.
From jurisdiction point of view, I wonder how would two law enforcers (Police & Rangers) operate in one city. It’s like having two managers of one employee. That is evident from various reports, which says there is hardly any coordination between the two forces. How could that be, when one is given direction from Armed forces (HQ Corps commander), while other from Provincial Interior Ministry. In fact, there are so many other secret agencies working in the city, with over-riding powers. So, effectively, with so many law enforcers, you’re not even sure if any incident is committed by a criminal or secret services, thus nobody can be held accountable and instead blame each others, while the criminals gets a free ride and the general public suffers, very common story of karachiites.
Karachi is booming in every respect, specially in terms of economic growth. Almost everyone finds it’s fortune in the city, from hungry beggars to shopkeepers to billionaire industrialists or the vast hardworking educated middle-class. The biggest issue of Karachi is Law and Order. L&O is the responsibility of Police. That is not a rocket science. Some suggested, making Karachi as a separate province. Not sure, if making more provinces would solve the woes of the city. There just has to be a genuine “will”, if that is missing, there can never be peace. When there was a will to progress the city (in Musharraf’s era), both federal & provincial government and all of governmental institutions (like Police) worked in unison for the peace and progress of Karachi, things changed in the city never seen before in the history of Karachi (evident in graph below). And we have experienced it first hand ourselves, with booming business. I never saw in my lifetime, Pakistanis returning to Pakistan, to Karachi, in Musharraf era.
So, it’s quite evident, where there is a will, setting peace in Karachi is not a big deal. It is commonly known, that Karachi Police is not empowered (conflicts with Rangers), politicized, uneducated, lacks civic sense and most of their employees does not belong from the city – thanks to Quota system, thus having reduced tendency for lack of responsibility to serve their hometown. If we need peace and prosperity in Karachi, we have to revive Police, bring in resources on merit and remove all inefficient employees. I am not expert in Police or Law Enforcement, so I can’t say what measures within Police needs to be taken to improve it, but the obvious first step is to increase its strength (personnel, stations, arms) according to the international standard ration and the population of the city.
Eg Karachi Police force should be increased to 80,000 to cater for the current population of 24 million, if we go with the ratio of Lahore. Else, 150,000 if we go with London’s standard.
Empower Karachi Police with autonomous power to deal with the crime. Karachi Police should fall under the control of local government or its equivalent (people’s representation), instead of Provincial Ministry or Armed Forces or Federal Ministry. Hiring should be made on 90% merit and 10% quota and obviously not the other way round. Independent justice system complements effective police system, one without the other, also cannot work. Virtually, all of the problems of Pakistan can be understood and solved by a 10 year old. It’s the disinformation or unaware population, that helps the leaders at the helm of power to exploit the rules with such impunity. I’ll reiterate, there just has to be a will, to bring prosperity in Karachi.
I have researched all these facts from various sources, and found very little facts and figures that I used above, as you might know, Karachi specific stats are hard to come by, specially when government is committing such misadventure. I wrote another blog on Quota System in general, some time ago, which you can read here: https://learnsharehelp.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/2013-still-quota-system/
Sources & Further Readings: