Bad cop image chasing police
The bad cop image is so etched in people’s minds that when police officers do take action against influentials and are victimised for it, rarely does the news make a splash.
Dawn spoke to numerous police officers who complained that no one stands with them when they try to implement the law fairly and equally, and hence they feel that it’s better not to take any action against influential people.
“Our colleagues, be they senior or junior, abandon us,” said a police officer. “We are deprived of our posts, sidelined on the orders of bureaucrats and politicians, and then character assassinated by intelligence agencies in forged reports.”
Over the last few months, numerous cases have been highlighted where the police were directed by the courts to take action against military and intelligence officials, and they failed to comply with the orders because they were afraid of the severe repercussions.
In fact, recently a police officer was allegedly mistreated for obliging the court in a case involving a retired army officer.
In the first week of December, Superintendent Police (SP) Khuram Rasheed had registered a case against former deputy director of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Major-General (retired) Nusrat Naeem on the directive of the additional and sessions judge Islamabad. An act numerous police officers before him had not done.
SP Rasheed was also ‘guilty’ of calling the accused general to his office for investigation.
This obviously did not go well as SP Rasheed was suspended on December 3 for ‘negligence’ and surrendered to the Establishment Division, while Station House Officer Mohammad Shafiq was suspended on December 2.
It has to be pointed out that their removal and surrender orders were sent straight from the interior minister’s office, which is in clear violations of the rules: only the chief commissioner of Islamabad oversees the transfer and posting of grade 17 to 19 police officers, and only the inspector general of police can request an officer to surrender to the Establishment Division.
“The SP has been asked to report to the city police officer, as his transfer orders are made. Most likely he will be sent to Balochistan or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” revealed a source within the police department.
Major-General (retired) Nusrat Naeem had been implicated in a fraud case filed by a steel mill owner in Hattar, Mr Mohammad Ali, and so far it seems he is willing to go to all lengths to save himself.
In fact, in the last two years the retired army officer had managed to avoid getting a case registered against him despite court orders.
Mr Mohammad Ali told Dawn that the retired general owes him Rs73 million for the sale of scrap in July 2009.
When the Industrial Police refused to register a case against the army officer, he sought help from the court.
“However, despite the court orders, the police did not register the case,” he said.
After a year, the police made an excuse that the order had expired and he should obtain further direction from the court.
“I submitted another application to the district and sessions court on July 30, 2012, and the judicator issued orders in August,” he said.
“Later Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Islamabad under influence of interior minister arranged a meeting between me and the former DG ISI on September 16, Sunday,” Mr Ali claimed. “The office of the SSP was opened especially on holiday for the
meeting. The general assured me that he will pay the amount by November 16, but he again failed.”
After this, Mr Ali said, he met the SSP, who showed his helplessness over the issue, and later ordered registration of the case.
“As a result, the case was registered with the Industrial Area Police on November 26. But after the registration of the case, the SP and the SHO were removed on the direction of the minister and my money has still not been paid,” he added.
A similar dead end was faced by Mr Ahmed Ali, owner of Mattle Corp Pakistan, as he awaits the payment of Rs5.4 million two years after he sold iron rod to a company jointly operated by Maj Atif Khan Jadoon, and his brother Adil Khan Jodoon for
construction of Air Man Barracks at Kamra Airbase.
“I am bankrupt due to non-payment and my business is damaged,” Mr Ahmed Ali told Dawn. “The deal with the major has made my life miserable.
“I have received scores of threatening calls and harassed by army officers and some of them said we are calling from qasai (slaughterhouse) branch,” Mr Ahmed Ali claimed.
Mr Ahmed Ali told Dawn that he finally managed to get a case registered against the army major after two years on the directive of the district court on February 8, 2012, at Margalla Police Station.
“The police refused to take action against the major initially. Later, they approached the General Headquarters and Military Police for arresting their officer, but they did not respond. I finally went to the Islamabad High Court, which issued order of his arrest and directives to the Army in this regard,” Mr Ahmed Ali recounted.
Interestingly, the accused, who was on interim bail, came over to district and sessions court on December 7, from where he preferred to escape rather than hear the judge’s adverse decision.
A third incident where the police was unwilling to get itself involved with the military involves a businessman, Yawar Sayeed Khan, who bought land on Fathjhang Road in 2005 from an army major and his politician friends.
Mr Khan said on paper the accused sold him two pieces of land measuring 337 kanals and 15 marlas, but at the time of giving possession they tried to give him 109 different pieces of land.
“After a year-long effort in 2007 with the help of district and sessions courts I succeeded in getting a case registered against Maj Zubair Ali Khan, presently posted at Quetta and affiliated with 63 SS Regiment, Haji Saad Fareen, president of Awami National Party (ANP) Shangla, and his son Sadeed Khan, a politician, who contested in the last general election from Shangla on an ANP ticket,” he said.
“I was given a cheque worth Rs5,450,000 which was later dishonoured, and all three accused are declared proclaimed offenders, but they have still not been arrested due to their influence,” he added.
“I have lost all my hard-earned money which I wanted to invest by purchasing the land,” he lamented.