Whose office monitors police merit?

A N Jamal

IT was the sinking and ridiculous feel when learnt news that nearly after one month of appointment Ghulam Qadir Thebo again removed from his appointment as chief of Karachi Police. In mid July, Mushtaq Maher was replaced with Ghulam Qadir Thebo after a substantial reshuffle took place in the Sindh police department. I need to understand why concerned people are putting city of Karachi under siege. After a month when Karachi crime rate was under control and there was sigh of relief the leaders of concerned departments again dreamt for reshuffle. Is current decision is biased? Did anyone bother to check departmental or CPLC crime rate comparison? I am worried no one did. I am confident to say that while taking the lead change no one seriously checked crime rate control during the month of July-Aug— casting another cloud over a process of merit. Or mere “reward for cronyism” that again there is a reshuffle.
It’s not appropriate that to opt for depoliticisation of the police force. Last year forced leave of IGP was hot news of the town and now frequent reshuffling. Since Thebo assumed the office he brought about improvement in the police force that has visible decline in the street crime. According to CPLC crime rate comparison till August 15 [clearly highlights that during the month of July-August] there is significant decline in street crimes. Crime rates have plunged till July. In July, 3930 cases of street crimes reported and in august were declined to 1985. In July, 6 cases of murder during robbery reported and in August only 2 cases reported.
In July, 1211 mobile phone snatching cases were reported which in August declined to 598 cases only. I am wondering on which grounds electronic media reported that there is increase in crime rate? Or they run paid content? Interestingly, the public remains largely unaware. The public also clings to self-knitted reporting which is more dangerous that people are oblivion of facts and now have to live under clouds of unsafe city.
Experts are well-aware of this trend and have generated a multitude of theories. According to the incarceration argument, crime has declined because more potential offenders are behind bars. Others credit a larger police presence and improved policing tactics. The decline in crime rate during July to August is due to policing tactics adopted by the Chief of Police.
“Personal relationship” is a yard stick for appointments now. It’s raised concerns for me about whether who can effectively lead this department at this particular moment in time. I feel concerned authorities not even bothered that how to endured a fresh wave of criticism. This is shocking that when citizens of the city just had discussions about this person being a quality chief again there is a reshuffle.
The residents of the city also are strange beings that no one bothered to ever raised question regarding change or removal of any of chief. Never inquired that either there any legitimate reasons or mere unfair attempt. Question arises that people should ask the city leadership on their actions and leadership also should have to take concerns of residents seriously.
Such immediate reshuffles and draconian step only could contribute to disaster peace process. The police have not “learned lessons” from unstable state of the town. The public and a police force are entitled to expect their Police and concerned departments to act fairly and rationally.
Being a peaceful citizen I am dealing with disgusting circumstances or looming insecurity that upset me greatly. I believe that the leadership at this time is critical in order to build confidence that the culture of cronyism could be disastrous. There is lack of transparency. The impression is merit promotions are not truly based on merit, but rather the cloud you hold in the department or who you know. Once the city has used merit promotions, with the stated goal — in supervisory positions. Question arises: what is behind the scenes? Consulted or otherwise being apprised? Peaceful citizens of the city didn’t understand the need for Thebo’s change.
—Writer is entrepreneur, law practitioner of High Court and also chairperson of non-profit organizations named Tavuun Welfare Association and Institute of Policy studies, research and human development.

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