By Syed M. Aslam
Oct 02 - 08, 2000
The trophies and shields belies the fact it is the office of a police
inspector. The manners too seem to lack the dreaded authoritarian and abusive attitude
associated with the Karachi police department. This is the office of the Incharge of
Sharah-e-Noor Jehan police station, Ejaz-ud-Din in District Central Karachi. Ejaz was
offered a job in WAPDA when he was in his ninth class on the basis of sports as he
exhibited promising talents in hockey. He completed Diploma in Associate Engineering from
Hyderabad Polytechnic Institute in 1981 and was offered job by the Habib Bank and National
Bank of Pakistan to play hockey for their respective teams. He joined the police force in
1982 as an Assistant Sub Inspector following in the foot steps of his father Muhammad
Sirajuddin, a retired SSP. He did his M.A. in Political Science from Karachi University
and LLB from Urdu Law College Karachi. During his career Ejaz has played hockey for
Pakistan Board, the representative inter-boards team in the country; Karachi Division
which represented Sindh in inter-provincial tournaments; and captained Pakistan Police
side in matches against national teams of Germany, Holland and Bangladesh. He is the
secretary of Police Boys Hockey Club Karachi and a council member of Karachi Hockey
Association, an affiliated organisation of Pakistan Hockey Association. He has also
acquired a Coaching Diploma from Federation of International Hockey which has worldwide
PAGE: You have served in various capacities with the
police department from being incharge of Traffic sections to anti-burglary, anti-dacoity,
anti-car-lifting cells as well as incharge of various police stations. What are your
comments on the negative perception about police?
Ejaz: I feel it imperative that educated persons
should be recruited in the force to help change its image. In addition, it must also be
ensured that those recruited in the force have no criminal background. Preference should
be given to recruit the locals in the police force as they know the people of their
localities and know their problems, a prerequisite for effective policing. Having said
that I must add that salaries and incentives provided to other government servants such as
medical facilities and house rent should also be extended to the members of the police
force. Adequate funds should be given for the proper maintenance and workings of the
police precincts. No funds are given to them at present. Moreover, incharge of Police
precincts, SHOs, should be appointed on the basis of merit alone. Appointment of SHOs
should not be made on the basis of political considerations as being apolitical helps them
to carry out their responsibilities without hindrance.
PAGE: Is the criteria not being followed?
Ejaz: No. There is a favoritism in police. For
instance, despite a ruling by the Supreme Court that granting seniority as a reward for a
meritorious deed should not be allowed the practice continues unabated in the police
department. The order is being flouted to reward the favourites on this pretext or that.
This is a pure contempt of the order of the highest court of the land. Promotions and
appointments of SHOs should be made on merit and seniority alone but the rule is not being
PAGE: What do you say about the wide-scale corruption
in police at every level?
Ejaz: Low salaries, absence of financial incentives
and facilities is not only discouraging educated youth to join police notwithstanding
induction of some of them in the force but is also resulting in the effective working of
its duties. Provision of these facilities to the police at par with the other government
servants will help improve the attitude of police with the public and its performance to
help abolish the prevalent distrust. It will help restore confidence in police. If the
Customs people can be awarded a 20 per cent cash reward for every catch they make why the
same can not be extended to policemen?
PAGE: Hockey is your passion. What's the future of the
game in Pakistan?
Ejaz: It's dark primarily because of the removal of government support
in particular and private sector's in general. Many hockey talents like me no more have
the chances to get employment in WAPDA, Customs, PIA, nationalised Banks, Police,
Railways, etc. to provide them the much needed springboard. This is a great loss to a game
which we call our national sport. The same is the case with the educational institutions.
Suhail Abbas, world's best full-back and the top scorer in recent Olympics, has no job. He
has been offered big salary and huge incentives by Japan and Holland to play for their
national side. Tahir Zaman and Shabaz Sr., the two former captains of Pakistani national
side, are already playing for foreign national teams. If the lethargy continues Pakistani
team will not even reach the semi-finals in next Olympics.