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National Highways & Motorway Police

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Policing Culture
By Dr. Wasim Kausar, Former IGP, NH&MP
Pakistan Motorway Police has earned the respect and confidence of the public within a short
span of time. Common perception about police and policing in Pakistan is hopelessly dismal.
Where corruption has become almost a disease in Pakistan affecting every aspect of our political,
social and economic sectors, corruption in the police stands out like a sore thumb and its
conspicuousness is due to its criticality and impact on good governance of the country and the
negative general public view or impression it is bound to create. The country has been
contending with the issue of corruption for the last several decades, but its efforts could best be
labeled as fire fighting attempts at curbing public sector corruption.
Not very long ago the traffic culture on the highway of Pakistan was characterized by a
contemptuous disregard for traffic rules, an almost non-existent enforcement apparatus, and a
very high ratio of accidents. Every year 700 people lost their precious lives and another 75000
received injuries in road accident. This meant a staggering 19 deaths and 205 injuries per day.
The response of the Government of Pakistan to all this was swift and sweeping, and that was the
establishment of National Highways & Motorway Police, which was specifically tasked to
rectify the situation. This was easier said than done, but the gauntlet was valiantly taken up by
the pioneers of the force. It was a gigantic task that needed considerable mental and material
input. The same was, however, made available and the force became operational. The result has
been a success, that could not only be referred to as exemplary but bewildering as reflected in the
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Report, 2002: -
With regard to petty and middling corruption, the consensus has been that there is hardly an
arm of Government which does not suffer acutely from corruption, with the exception of the
Motorway Police.
Fortunately, Pakistans Motorway Police has emerged as a model and an example of a corruption
free police. It is commonly believed, supported by studies, that the Motorway Police is actually a
graft free police force, created as a result of cultural transformation in policing. Seventy percent
of the research on policing in the world encompasses police culture and its effect on police
conduct. It has been established by independent research and analysis that prevalent police
culture determines the prevalent police conduct with the public. Therefore, it would be naive to
expect public friendly policing from a para-military policing outfit. This can only be possible if a
strategy is formulated to transform the para-military culture by qualitative improvement in the
training ecology and the work station ecology of the organization as reflected below:

The success story of Pakistan Motorway Police revolves around the cultural transformation in
police attitude by ensuring qualitative improvement in the training ecology and provision of
compatible work station ecology. Needless to say that the service oriented and public friendly
police model was the ultimate goal through this cultural transformation.
The research studies into the personality profile of a police officer reveal that the common
policeman suffers from a deep seated syndrome which we may name as the stress prone
personality disorder, caused by one or more of the following factors which lead to his erratic
and delinquent behavior, giving rise to ever increasing corruption, moral as well as intellectual,
human rights excesses, misdemeanor and misbehavior with the general citizenry and a mindset
that police cannot be subjected to any kind of accountability or scrutiny.


T.N.A. to assess training needs

SWOT Analysis : TNA technique

Qualified Instructors

Modern Techniques of Instruction

Syndicate/Participative System

Simulation Exercises

Case Studies

Driving Skills

Respectful Training Environment

Foreign Training

Batches of officers were sent to U.K. (Wales) and Germany for specialized

Staff from U.K. Police was called to impart training in Pakistan.

Training in the use of Modern Electronic gadgets.

Training in first aid to help the injured in accidents.

Refresher Courses.
It would be counter productive to give high profile training to an officer without provision of
compatible work station ecology. Therefore, a qualitative change in the work station
environment was brought about as a result of the following measures based on international
standards: -

Manageable span of control

Neat and clean working environment

Camp living

Mess facility

Sports activities

Motivation and Morale

Chain of Command

Shift System and Monthly Rest

Compatible Work Station and Training Ecology

In-built System of Reward and Punishment

Minimum Weaponry displayed

Only Moving Violations checked. No documents seized.

Force responsible for traffic discipline, safety of commuters and initial action in
It is erroneous to think that repressive or oppressive tactics can control crime and restore order to
the society. These are reactive methods of policing. Proactive policing is comprised of
preventive measures and community partition to curb crime. Policeman is not only a law
enforcer, but is also a peace officer who is expected to resolve conflicts between people. In this
manner, the police officer becomes a friend of the people, who receives respect and participation
from them. His task, thus, become, easier, creative, interesting and meaningful. Therefore, in
order to attract quality police officer, the following incentives were given for their selection on
merit in the Pakistan Motorway Police: -

Attractive Salary Package.

One Step Promotion.

Free Bachelor Accommodation.

Shift System (8 Hrs Duty).

Proper Mess Arrangement.

Reward for Good Work.

Free Uniform.

Indoor/Outdoor Sport Facility.

Four Days Rest in a Month.

Free Medical Treatment.

Choice Postings (Near Place of Residents).
On 27th November 1997, this new force started working. After six months, the British trainers
paid a surprise visit to see the working of their trainees and were astonished to see the working of
their trainees and were astonished to see the efficiency and output. They remarked this force is
working even better than British Police which is indeed a great comment from a British Police
It would be difficult to pin down all the contributing factors for the first public friendly and
service oriented police organization in Pakistan in this brief article. However, it may be
mentioned that this miraculous transformation has been brought about by a cultural swing
through qualitative improvement in the training ecology and work station ecology as explained
earlier. It may be argued that maintaining law and order and control of crime is the joint
responsibility of the society, its political, social, economic and cultural institutions. The police
alone cannot handle these problems and the pooling in of the efforts of all is essential. Other state
agencies must be involved. Crime and disorder are social theme, which should be projected in
their true colors and the policemans role should be fitted in to the extent that is needed and
relevant and no further. Then alone, the policeman shall be able to adequately and efficaciously
acquit himself of a portion of his responsibilities, in the larger context of the criminal justice
system. This is part of the dialectics of improvements, which must be allowed to operate freely.
Therefore, it is clearly manifest that policing by consent whereby the policing process takes the
public along in its quest for maintenance of public order is a key towards public friendly
policing. The success of Pakistan Motorway Police lies in its service oriented functions and
assistance to about 1200 commuters in Pakistan each day. From organizational point of view, the
most important factor is that this is an officer based organization which works in a shift of eight
hours with a manageable span of control as per international standards. The frequently asked
question that Pakistan Motorway Police model can be replicated in the district police would
require a detailed research paper. However, it can be argued that this not something impossible.
It may be pointed out that order in a society depends upon a multiplicity of interacting forces
which are complex. It depends upon the distribution of resources, images of relative deprivation,
inequities and injustice, coercion, oppression, and greed. It depends upon the inculcation of
values of comfort, convenience, dignity, safety of others etc. These values depend upon family,
education, environment and neighbourhood pressures with expectations of good behavior.
In this context, it is essential to understand the tensions in rural areas, the phenomenon of
migration, and various aspects of urbanization giving rise to police responsibility in providing
convenience of movement and general security making the society functional and efficient. Since
human relationships are becoming more sensitive in the complex network of dependence, the
policeman has to be sensitive to indications of disorder and lawlessness. Therefore, it can be
argued that a cultural transformation in the district police is practically possible with a strong
will of the Government as in case of Pakistan Motorway Police. However, it may be pointed out
that apart from key policy decisions, this change would require a sustainable financial backup in
order to ensure quality in policing as stated by Sir, Robert Peele in his address to the British
Parliament on Police Reforms in 1907: -
The quality of policing is directly proportional to the financial aspects of policing. It will be
difficult to get a good police without paying for it
Central Police Office,
House No. 7, Kaghan Road, Sector F-8/3, Islamabad
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