April 12, 2010…
Governor Punjab meets a delegation of ASPs, condemns sensationalist media and overactive lawyers movement.
A 40-member delegation of the Country Study Tour Programme of Additional Superintendent Police (under training) under DIG Mahmood Alam Mahsud met with the Governor of the Punjab Salmaan Taseer at the Governor House, Lahore to discuss the ongoing law and order situation in the Punjab on Monday, April 12, 2010.
Governor Salmaan Taseer expressed that he was “most impressed” with the qualifications of the ASPs in the Common Training Programme (CTP), which ranged from finance to software engineering to biotechnology. The Governor stated that the maintenance of law and order is not the only issue the police has to face. There are many other pressures, and in particular paid tribute to those who died fighting terrorism and courageously taken on “these highly trained and dangerous” terrorists.
He further added that today’s police force were standard bearers, in their preventative and investigatory capacity. He encouraged the force by reiterating that the country is behind the police in fighting terrorism- even if the public has contentions in other areas.
As far as the public is concerned, the Governor said, the media is often pressured to dramatise stories and this is the reason why crime incidents are blown out of proportion. The issue at hand is often forgotten at the expense of sensationalism. This phenomenon of media activism is a new challenge the police has to face. He added that the police are required to know how to deal with the intense media glare and deal with the new “politico-media”.
The Governor said, “I’m not only a governor but a citizen of this country, and like all citizens, I have an opinion on the police force”. He said that in the past the police had been forced to brutalise protestors and be partisan, of which the Governor himself was a victim. He went on to say that it is his belief that the police is now a model of “respect and honour” and it is imperative they remain “completely impartial” in the face of immense pressures. He said that this was “the very fibre of a police officer”.
The Governor stated that the most important aspect of a police officer’s training is his ability to maintain his moral position and not bow down to any external pressure. The police must be its own moral authority and resist interference by the authorities, the media, people of the same caste, etc. He said, “Every time you refuse to buckle under pressure, it becomes easier the next time”.
A point of particular note is the homage the Governor paid to the ladies in the police force. Of the 40 member delegation, 4 were female and he said that their presence in the force had a “calming influence” and formed a good impression of the police as a whole.
In response to question posed by a member of the delegation regarding the role of the judiciary as far as civil society and the police is concerned, the Governor said, “I believe judicial activism is out of control”. He said the issue of the lawyers has become a “pressurizing mafia”. Furthermore, he said that the lawyers have become a trade union and are looking for their own advantages. “This is a very negative development”, he added. The meeting ended on a genial note, with the Governor expressing how happy he was with the high quality of police officers and the DIG deeply appreciative of the Governor’s time.
A 40-member delegation of (under training) ASP's from Common Training Programme posing for photograph with Governor Punjab Salmaan Taseer at the Governor House, Lahore.