Sunday, December 21, 2008


Everyone understands that the security barriers that people install on their streets are because they feel the police cannot protect them. Since all this fuss has been made by the government about how the barriers impede movement of fire engines, ambulances and police vehicles, it is also clear to everyone that they prevent these emergency workers from doing their jobs.

So since everyone knows why the barriers are up and why they are a problem, then the government should just go ahead and solve the problem if they want the barriers to come down. To force people to take the barriers down without taking concrete steps to better protect them is unreasonable. We all know how miserably useless and entirely self-serving our police force is. If they can revamp their image from corrupt, high-handed and brutal to efficient, respectful and dedicated, Karachiites will be more than happy to take the barriers down. We will be on Cloud 9, in fact.

But the government has no intentions of sincerely addressing the systemic problems that plague our law-enforcement personnel (poor payment, understaffing, poor training, lack of equipment, lack of gender sensitization, politicization of the police force, unmerited appointments and the list goes on and on). It is happy just kicking up a big fuss over this one issue and making headlines in the city pages for a week. Then it's all back to business as usual.

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