SSU as a way forward in Sindh Police Tufail Ahmed


Sindh Police reform has emerged as a top priority in sindh Government’s commitment for strengthening the rule of law. Despite many past reform efforts, it is only about the last two years that AIG Maqsood Memon has viewed police reform as a critical developmental priority. The interest in reform stems from clear and overwhelming evidence that a fair, responsible, ethical and efficient criminal justice system is an important factor in the promotion of economic and social development and of human security. It also stems from the fact that law and order crisis in Karachi has continued to deepen over time, and in recent years the police have been increasingly unable to cope with its increased responsibilities, particularly with regard to combating serious crime.
The Problem Among the serious constraints undermining the police system are: (1) an outdated legal and institutional framework (devised for nineteenth century India consisting of near static villages with hardly any urbanization or industrialization, and meant principally for a colonial rule), (2) arbitrary and unusual (mis)management of police by the executive authority of the state at every level (policemen were increasingly recruited, trained, promoted and posted without regard to merit and mainly for their subservience to people with influence and power), (3) inadequate accountability, (4) poor incentive systems, (5) widespread corruption, and (6) severe under-resourcing of law and order.
The Way Forward to meet the challenges of modernizing an outmoded institutional framework and improving the professional and ethical content of policing, AIG Maqsood Memon has initiated an ambitious reform process. The thrust of these reforms is to organize a police system, which is politically neutral, non-authoritarian, accountable and responsive to the community, professionally efficient, and last but not least, which is an instrument of rule of law. These merits are seen in ISO Certified Special Security Unit under the leadership of AIG Maqsood Memon in Sindh Police. In a profound restore of the structure and systems of police at capital city of sindh province.
The credible mechanism of policing the police, notwithstanding the fact that an increasingly expanding range of coercive powers at their command required stricter accountability controls. Public confidence in the police had never been lower. We knew why. We even knew how to fix it. But we were faced with the perpetual failure of both police leadership and the governing elite to reinvent the design for a people-friendly police. What people urgently required was a “fundamental change” in the way they were policed, as the police organization designed for colonial purposes had since broken down. SSU Sindh Police leadership should be given the leverage. Truth is that the SSU has fought and enforced law against variety of complex factors, including the growth of terrorism: as a counter terrorism force, sectarianism anti sectarianism cops, anti-proliferation weapons squad, and modern conditions of life. Urban terrorism during the past decade claimed tens of hundreds of innocent victims and brought Karachi the infamous title of ‘the City of Death.’ The economy also lost hundreds of billions of rupees. Indeed the inability of the law enforcement equipment lead to the sectarian dinosaur and control illegal arms cost the nation.
Poor law enforcement over time also became a serious threat to the emerging democratic order of Pakistan, its economy, and the safety, well-being and integrity of its citizens. Although the country spent tens of billions every year on police, civil armed forces and security agencies, yet the citizen suffered from a creeping sense of insecurity. It was almost as if the law enforcement system was designed not to work. The solution lay in radically changing the way the police operated, in developing a sub-culture of professional policing, trained and equipped to uphold the rule of law like SSU cops Sindh Police, in shifting from more-than-century-old oppressive policing practices to community policing, and in reinventing the police which had miserably failed to win much-needed partnership with citizens and communities.
In conclusion, law enforcement modernization is one of the greatest challenges confronting Karachi, a challenge that can and must be met. There are no short cuts, and no easy answers. Like an old Chinese saying, a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Fortunately, the government has already taken the first step of Special Security Unit and several steps have to take in the right direction, and are determined to complete the journey. There is not a moment to lose.
Tufail Ahmed Abro is Instructor at SSU & SBBEPTC Sindh Police, Karachi