The individual who killed Governor Salman Taseer was sent to the gallows because he took the law into his own hands. By presenting a cheque of Rs.50,000 to a citizen as a reward for killing two robbers, the Sindh Police may have reinforced the same trend in lawlessness and vigilantism. The institutional endorsement of private killings conveys some very convoluted messages. That the state has abandoned its responsibility to protect its citizens; that the police is no longer a relevant institution; that the citizens must arm and protect themselves and that private execution of suspected criminals will be rewarded as an act of bravery. A nuclear state intentionally reversing its course towards pre-historic times is completely incomprehensible.

It did not occur to the Police that the killing of the two robbers was a result of its own failure to apprehend the criminals – ever ready to pounce on their prey at every intersection of the city. It did not occur to the Police that the killing was a result of its own failure to establish an effective emergency incident reporting and response system. It did not occur to the police that the killing was a result of its own failure to take back 20 million weapons in the hands of civilians. It did not occur to the Police that the killing was a result of its own failure to ensure that IMEI of all snatched phones is disabled and that all shops selling stolen phones are sealed.

Details of how these tasks can be accomplished have been repeatedly printed in newspaper articles and also sent to senior police officials. It is sad that the Sindh Police refuses to rethink and reform its processes. Instead it has chosen to further relinquish its responsibilities and encourage citizens to take over the police function.
As a citizen, I protest against this mindlessness. The Sindh Police ought to reform itself and stop being a parasite at the tax payers’ expense. Citizens have a right to demand its shutdown if they are the ones who must also kill the robbers.