How Sindh police are restoring tranquility in the province
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh, Dr. Syed Kaleem Imam,has taken various far-reaching initiatives to build the capacity of police officers in the province but build public trust by ensuring better service delivery to the people of the province.
Apart from establishing Schools of Investigation, Finance and Information Technology, he has generated activities based on learning and wider interaction with the people of the province.
One of the innovative ideas was to start an interactive session with people from different walks of life, called “An Hour with a Guest”.
So far, thirty one distinguished people from various walks of life have been invited to the Central Police Office, Sindh, in Karachi. Among the guests have been people like Air Chief Marshal Wusatullah Khan, Anwar Maqsood, Bushra Ansari, Tariq Khosa, and Hassan Abbas.
In the one hour interactive session, the guest speaks for about thirty minutes about his life, ideas and achievements. During the 25 minutes question-answer session which follows, the participants ask questions from the guest related to his discourse.
Around 50 police officials from all ranks attend these sessions based on Chatham House rules -for an open discussion.
I had the honor and privilege of being a guest on this program on Feb 12, 2020. Warmly received by the IGP and other senior officers of Sindh police, I was introduced to the audience by the IGP. My talk covered important events during my service in the Pakistan Army, with a special mention of the 1971 War between Pakistan and India. My escape from an Indian Prisoner of War Camp (Escape From Oblivion: Oxford University Press) was of great interest to the audience as were the challenges in East Pakistan during those turbulent times.
I followed this by giving a comprehensive picture of emerging challenges for internal security and law enforcement in Pakistan and discussed the developing arena of “hybrid warfare” in Pakistan.
Awareness of these is badly needed among police officers who need to get ready for future policing challenges in the domain of cyber-crime and the social media. This hour long talk by me was followed by a “Question and Answer” session which covered everything from my personal life to internal and regional security issues.
Acknowledging the achievements by the Sindh police under the dynamic leadership of Dr.SyedKaleem Imam, I appreciated the sustained efforts of the Sindh police leadership in bringing peace to the Karachi Metropolitan area where once terror and blood reigned supreme.
Lights in the city have been restored by the blood sacrificed by the Jawans of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in the city including the Police, Rangers and the Security Forces. Around 2300 Jawans and officers have laid down their lives to bring peace and order to this province.
The people of Sindh in general, and Karachi in particular, owe a great to the mothers, fathers, widows, sons and daughters of these martyrs for their great sacrifice.
To note a personal example of the dedication and hard work of the Sindh police, I am quoting from an article by Capt Pervaiz Malik entitled “Far Above the Call of Duty.”:
“On Friday, 3rd January 2020 at about 1430 hours an armored Cash-In-Transit (CIT) vehicle of my private security services company Wackenhut Private Limited was parked outside the Yusuf Plaza branch of the Summit Bank in Karachi to pick up cash. Security guard Ghulam Abbas and vehicle commander Muhammad Nazeer came out of the bank branch carrying cash bags and placed the same in the vehicle. As they were about to close the door of the vehicle they were attacked by 3 armed men who opened indiscriminate fire inside the closed confines of the vehicle. During the ensued gun battle, Ghulam Abbas sustained three bullet wounds and Commander Nazeer a bullet to his shoulder. Muhammad Nazeer despite his injuries reacted and fired back at the attacker from inside the vehicle. His utmost professionalism and thorough training paid off and the attacker was hit in the stomach. The attacker in the melee managed to escape with a cash bag which was about to be placed in the vault of the vehicle. Here a word of appreciation for the crew of the vehicle is due. The intent of the attackers, right from the onset of events, was to kill all and take away whatever cash was inside the vehicle. But what they did not anticipate and foresee, was the dedication and sense of responsibility of the crew. The fight back by the crew prevented them from carrying out their heinous act in its entirety. They were unable to snatch the other cash bags lying in the vehicle because of resistance by Nazeer.”
“Both guards were immediately evacuated to Zia Uddin Hospital in North Nazimabad by the CIT driver. After getting medical attention, Nazeer was discharged the same day. Ghulam Abbas who sustained three bullets fought for his life in the hospital. A major surgery was performed for three hours after which he was moved to the ICU. A total of 55 bottles of blood was transfused to the injured guard by his colleagues in the company.”
“A First Information Report was lodged on the day of the incident and the case was pursued at all levels. I personally spoke to the IGP who mandated SSP Asif Rao to pursue the matter. Sindh police showed a side which might be unknown to many. Working day and night to crack this blind case in just seven days, they not only apprehended all the culprits but also recovered the stolen cash. Their efforts are greatly commendable, they went beyond the call of duty. They worked in a manner that one only expects from the police of a highly developed country. The way forensic and investigations were carried out deserves appreciation. A dedicated officer and a pride for the Sindh police, the IGP Sindh remained in constant touch with me, so did the SHO, DSP,SP, SSP in the field regardless of their rank. This was a truly professional and competent team work by the police.”
“These unsung armed uniformed personnel carry out their assigned duties, unnamed and unrecognized, their performance saves precious lives by putting themselves in harm's way. They have very little reward except for their salary and, at times, overtime. Disregarding their personal safety they invariably display commendable initiative and courage when faced with threatening situations. They are a selfless lot, not complaining but being satisfied with what they have and striving always to perform beyond the call of duty. One's heart is filled with pride in having the selfless devotion to duty of such remarkable men of courage.”
Karachi used to be the 6th most dangerous city in the world; the international community used to issue travel advisories for their citizens to avoid travelling to this city. Now with the untiring and relentless efforts of the police and other law enforcement agencies, Karachi in 2020 is ranked 93 on the Index of the Most Dangerous Cities in the World; even better than Washington and New Delhi.
IGP Sindh assured me that their resolve to restore tranquility to this Megapolis is strengthened by the belief that the Sindh police are capable of doing wonders through its professionalism, commitment and resilience.
Expressing my gratitude for the souvenirs of the Sindh police presented to me, I also thanked Syed Kaleem Imam for giving an opportunity to interact with police officers through this unique forum. To me the most cherished moment was laying a wreath on the newly constructed “Martyrs Memorial”, a wall with all the names of Shaheeds inscribed on it at the Central Police Office.
The writer is a defense and security analyst.