Clearing the clogged nullahs
Most Pakistani institutions, Commissions and Authorities have been rendered increasingly dysfunctional by years of politicization, colonial bureaucracy and sustained incompetence. They seem to be unable to perform even their basic routine and regular functions without calling on Pakistan army’s support.
Rangers support police for all critical crime control activities. Army is called to fight the decoits of Rajanpur. Karachi can not clean its clogged nullahs without Army’s help. The Covid has to be managed by the Army. The Plant protection department will not control locusts and fall back on army. The army must clear land slides, manage the rail accidents and build roads at high altitudes and mountainous terrains. The list is endless.
Army should surely be used where needed. However why are we hesitant to seek army’s support where it is needed the most – to provide judicial support to overcome Pakistan’s dysfunctional criminal justice system. Killers and rapists are rarely caught, would promptly receive a bail, continue visiting courts for years and be back to the same mischief in a matter of months. The Lahore motorway rapist who indulged in multiple rapes and Uzair Baloch who confessed to multiple killings are a case in point.
Pakistan would do well to develop all institutions. They must improve themselves and become fully capable of performing their own tasks. However the criminal justice system, which is today hugely worse than what it was seventy three years back needs to be radically revamped. Government must institute military courts for next five years to try all cases of rape, murder and terrorism and award harsh and immediate punishments. The rest of the judicial system must use this window to reform itself and clear its entire backlog. Afterall how is this intervention any different from asking the army to clear the clogged nullahs.