Only in Karachi can a ‘police officer’ shoot an unarmed innocent civilian like Abrar

Published: July 13, 2016
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Abrar's relatives demand justice as police pressurise them to withdraw an investigation in the case. PHOTO: FILE

Whenever I go abroad, I see that in most cities, policemen are always courteous and helpful, and people are not afraid to go to the police if they are robbed or have a complaint.

But not in Karachi.

Here, you know that if you ask the police for help, you could end up being robbed by them. I know many people who have been mugged and their houses burgled, but they dare not go to the police for help.

In other cities, police officers will never shoot at unarmed men, in fact in some countries the police themselves are not armed. Yet they are able to control mobs without difficulty. But in Karachi, even illiterate and untrained constables are given guns and other weapons to kill whenever they want.

In most cities, when police officers see something suspicious, they never shoot. First, they warn the suspect, then determine if he is armed, and if he is, they never shoot to kill. They first fire in the air, then (if necessary) they shoot at the legs of the suspect.

But not in Karachi.

They shot dead poor Abrar the other day.

The young man had sold his cell phone to Dil Nawaz who drove his car away without paying for the phone. Abrar was able to get into the car, for a time hanging from the window. Reportedly, the police officers, instead of firing warning shots in the air, or shooting at the tires of the car to stop it, fired directly at the car, killing Abrar and injuring Dil Nawaz. This, of course, could have happened only in Karachi, the home of those unfortunate souls whose taxes are siphoned away into foreign bank accounts instead of being spent on the welfare of the people.

Now that the killer or killers have been arrested, we know what will happen. Their relatives will pressurise the parents of the dead boy to “forgive” them, and the poor parents would have no choice but to comply, knowing that if they refuse, they too would most likely be killed, our police being what they are.

A few questions come to mind.

The killers were in plain clothes. Their mobile van was not supposed to be in Sindhi Muslim Society where they killed the young man. But of course this, too, can happen only in Karachi. I have often seen mobile police vans in DHA and Clifton which should not be there, vans belonging to far away police stations like Orangi or Landhi. Sometimes these vans have women who get out for shopping in malls and shops. Apparently they are the wives and daughters of the police officers who are supposed to be on duty elsewhere, but because their seniors are too busy minting money and spending it, instead of keeping a close eye on their subordinates, the police officers use mobile vans for their personal needs.

This made me think of a so-called “police training academy” in distant Shadadpur, where policemen are supposed to be “trained” before they are posted to cities and towns.

Trained for what? To loot and kill the people whom they are supposed to serve?

We often see police officers harassing innocent civilians, we hear of them being involved in criminal activities, but do they ever help people? Perish the thought. Most policemen are hired on the directives of politicians (the same people who are looting the nation), and the only thing police officers want to do, and as quickly as possible, is to recover the money they paid (known as “pugree”) to get posted to Karachi. And to extort money from citizens every day so they have enough to pay their seniors to remain posted in Karachi instead of being transferred to small towns where they can’t earn much.

Only in Karachi!

Shakir Lakhani

Shakir Lakhani

Engineer, former visiting lecturer at NED Engineering College, industrialist, associated with petroleum/chemical industries for many years. Loves writing, and (in the opinion of most of those who know him), mentally unbalanced. He tweets @shakirlakhani (twitter.com/shakirlakhani)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://www.kashifaziz.me/ Kashif

    Only in Karachi?

    This is a routine in US of A.Recommend

  • vinsin

    In USA having arms is legal.Recommend

  • shiva the destroyer

    here in India as well :)Recommend

  • liberal-lubna-fromLahore

    what the hell?
    This is a common occurrence in the US but u r not going to use the same headline in their case now are you? Recommend

  • MJ

    My Aunt’s residence was looted many years ago by plain clothed policemen. They showed up in their official “Eagle Squad” pickup trucks and parked them outside her residence for more than 3 hours. They beat and tied up her gatekeeper and threatened her with kidnappings and murders of her children and grandchildren if a report was filed for that armed robbery. Policemen pay big money from all over the country to be posted in Karachi. They come here to loot the residents in the fastest and shortest time possible and transfer the loot back to wherever they are from. This has been going on for a long time now.Recommend

  • stevenson

    The author hasn’t been to the US or other countries where the police have worse reputations. The problem with Karachi is that the police have been on the receiving end of violence from criminal gangs and terrorists for so long, they are very nervous about dealing with crime. The Rangers have finally cleaned up things but it will still take a long time before Karachi becomes safe as cities in Punjab like Lahore or Sialkot or Multan. Police training should be done but let’s not forget that finally crime is coming under control in Karachi with the current government.Recommend

  • Shakir Lakhani

    In the US, the police don’t rob people, like in Karachi.Recommend

  • Parvez

    In Pakistan the police is politicized …. in Karachi it is completely politicized………and there in lies the problem.
    Police brutality is not restricted to Karachi or Pakistan.Recommend

  • Fahim

    Give police to army with 1000% controlRecommend

  • stevenson

    Have you ever heard of policemen “on the take” or “paid off” not just in 2016 but historically in US cities. Not just police but all manner of officials. I suggest you go to the US or another Western country. There is a famous Australian movie on police there robbing civilians too. Pakistanis need to travel and understand the world better too because they think some things only happen in Karachi.Recommend

  • liberal-lubna-fromLahore
  • Rana Choudhry

    We are not talking about police brutality. Yes it is everywhere. Specially
    in third world countries. Here, we are talking about police looting and plundering,and involved in every kind of crime, in Karachi.
    And by extension, Land of the Pure.
    The thugs, known as Police, have have taken their craft to new unbelievable heights. It’s like this :- the low life policeman on the street
    has to pay so much to his station house officer every month. to keep his job. Who in turn has to pay his boss, to keep his job. It goes all the way to the very top. The chain of command.
    There is no such thing as police in Karachi. They are criminal and thugs in
    uniforms. They paid to get their jobs. There are auctions held, highest bidder gets it. Even the police SHO, SSP,, SP positions are auctioned off., Then they loot the public to make up the money they paid.
    Besides, the more money they produce, the happier their bosses are.
    Exact same thing goes on in India. Make that Bangladesh, Thailand,
    Sri Lanka too. Maybe in the good old days they were honest…[really?]
    This is nothing new. This is the way it has become, now, since the
    ‘country went to the dogs’. As my beloved aunt said once.Recommend

  • Kharo Patel

    Having arms is legal in US? But you cannot have legs?
    Or a nose? Or ears? or teeth? None of that?Recommend

  • Patwari

    YOU are dead wrong. The police in the US does not rob,
    loot, kidnap for ransom, run gambling dens, operate drug
    rings, aid and abets terrorists, extremists, involve in bank robberies, collect encroachment ‘bhatta’, beat restaurant,
    dhaba owners within an inch of their lives if they ask for payment, watch a pregnant woman stoned to death by her father/brother in front of the Lahore High Court door. Nor
    do they stand and watch a Christian couple beaten and
    burnt to death by a frothing mob. Neither would they stand
    and watch a whole Christian neighborhood, Joseph Colony,
    set afire, and the Christians slaughtered in their houses,
    more than 200 of them.
    And they do not pull over a car with a young couple, and
    demand to “see” proof of marriage. Or the couple will be
    in deep trouble. College students are afraid to give female classmates, or their sisters a ride home, because the police will make life miserable for them. Specially if it’s in the evening. Happens, all the time, specially, in Lahore.
    If such was the case in the US or other European countries,
    the extremists there, would be hunting and killing Muslims, everywhere. While the police stands and watch.
    Thank God it is not so. And there is law and order.Recommend

  • Sameer

    Excellent post by Mr. Shakir Lakhani. I totally agree with with on Karachi police. Whenever we are stopped by police they will only try to get money from you. I wonder if they are paid salaries or not. I would really like to say something here – That I am more afraid of police rather then robbers. Robbers come and they rob you and go. But our Karachi police will insult you rob you and humiliate you so much that you will start thinking that one is a Robber. Once I had a incident and tries calling a phone number given on Facebook for our police IG. It was never answered. Useless karachi police, hurting and killing innocent. Please stop killing innocent people on the street. If you have guts go after the real criminals. I really pray for the departed soul (Abrar) this incident happen right in front of our eyes and everyone started saying they have killed a robber not even knowing anything about the situation. Our ppl are also great. No rights should be given to police to fire directly on innocent ppl. STop killing us everyday..Recommend

  • Sameer

    Mr. Shakir Lakhani, thank you so much for writing this article. I wish highers ups of police also read this and open their eyes like what is happening in Karachi police department.Recommend

  • Sameer

    Exactly to the point….Recommend

  • stevenson

    Ever stop to wonder why former black soldiers are shooting police officers in the US ? Why is there so much anger and hatred of the police among minorities in the US ? While you are at it, read about police abuse and direct involvement in organized crime such as prostitution, protecting drug agents, corrupt politicians and outright theft over the last 60 years in the US. You really need to travel more is all I can say ! Just to make it easy for yoy, watch the mini series Boardwalk depicting New Jersey in the 1920s to get a feel of what went on and continues to go in with the police and law enforcement in the US.Recommend

  • Sanjeev gopal

    Happens in USA all the timeRecommend

  • Algebrapak

    Police brutality is everywhere in the world, but you don’t know until you’ve been involved how weak and petty one feel’s when they keep on beating and insulting you like you are some kind of evil person-_-. My fruend got two stiches after all this.Recommend