April 2019 should be celebrated as the day of deliverance in the history of Kurram Police, for on this very date regular policing status was extended to the area and the remnants of the colonial era policing were done away with. This historic moment was lost in the shenanigans of the atavistic tribal elders, who wanted to preserve the old exploitative system of patronage and they somewhat succeeded in their mischievous attempts to block change.
Upon the merger of the old Khasadari system into the regular police force, the old, lethargic and illiterate Khasadars were given honorary promotions to just run the wheel of policing. These ill-suited and misfit remnants of the old system prevailed in the new police force and established their own monopoly.
Why were the educated and well trained policemen in the existing force not promoted by the police department? Why are these crooks still retained and allowed to amass unchecked powers, perks and privileges? What are their educational credentials? Why are these illiterate people imposed on all the merged districts? Does the KP Police department have any such viable and effective policy on policing in the merged districts?
Recently, when Kurram Police force got a chance to work under the leadership of a visionary , dedicated and thoroughly professional officer of the elite group of police service, Imran Mirza, PSP, as DPO Kurram, these illiterate and inefficient Khasadars started a propaganda campaign; for they felt threatened by the effective and energetic style of the new DPO. His first bold step was to break the monopoly of these gang of inefficient personnels. He shuffled all the SHOs and prepared a list of those policemen who had a clean and professional track record in the force. They were assigned new duties and were duly awarded with certificates of distinction.
But this euphoria didn’t last long because of the entrenched position of the illiterate and non-professional people in the Kurram police. These people started to assert themselves and effectively blocked any such reformist tendencies. These illiterate people want to block any progressive or reform-oriented agenda in the force. Why can’t the higher-ups in the KP police department make plans to break the control of these people? Why aren’t new recruitments being announced for the tribal areas?
A few days ago, some tribal elders went to meet the IG, KP, and they demanded that DPOs from the elite service of police department must be regularly posted to the tribal areas because they have zero tolerance for lethargy and corrupt practices. The elders vehemently opposed the idea of posting ranker cadre DPOs owing to their lenient approach to corruption and their natural chemistry with these illiterate people in the force. To their surprise, the IG responded that PSPs officers don’t enjoy postings at these remote areas so they get transferred after a short period. So we are left with no other choice than these ranker DPOs. Imagine that an IG is helpless in dealing with the tenure policy of posting of these PSPs. Who then controls and runs the transfer and posting policy of the department? Why can’t there be regular and viable transfer and posting policy for the department?
Similarly, there is complete dearth of female representation in the tribal areas police force. Mostly, the blame is put on the entrenched tribal cum patriarchal culture in the tribal areas and the unwillingness of the educated women to join the police force. These are genuine concerns and are hampering the inclusive nature of the force, but what steps have been taken to shatter or dent these structures? How long will this mentality last? Can’t there be any effective mechanism to attract educated women from the tribal areas to join the force and serve their people?
Once such step can be to launch an awareness campaign at the girls degree and post graduate colleges in the tribal areas related to women joining police force. The educated and dynamic lady police officers can be assigned this task to encourage and inspire girls to join the force. Career options are severely restricted to teaching, medical and engineering for the girls in the tribal areas, focusing more on the teaching and medical fields. This intervention can also break this taboo of women joining law enforcement department in the tribal areas. The key question is: does the police department of KP possess the will and interest to reform and improve the morale and standing of the force in the tribal areas?