LAW & ORDER
The word law and order might sound peculiar in relation to our society. It certainly has been awhile since we have witnessed the proper execution of law and a reasonable implication of order in our society. Noticeably, on the one hand, during the last 4 decades the executing, judicial and law enforcement authorities of Afghanistan have been deeply unorganized, corrupt and entirely malfunctioning in terms of better serving the inhabitants of the country. While on the other hand the level of illiteracy and intentional exploitation of the law has become an indigenous part of our daily lives.
Not to mention, first from a police force with improper training and equipment to maintain law and order, second to the public offices occupied with dull and unprofessional personnel committed to create barriers towards your lawful deeds, and third to the law evading mentality of the ordinary Afghan indeed reflects the core causes of the social disparity and disorder in our prevailing society.
All these three segments of the society essentially play the crucial part in shaping a civilized and law abiding citizenship. To shed some lights on the issue, letís begin with the society itself.
A driven and law abiding society requires both the perseverance and responsibility on individual level. Like many other prosperous societies around the world, we shall educate ourselves with the lawful ways to conduct our daily responsibilities be it on social or individual levels. Law abiding citizenship begins from the grassroots of a particular society which is indeed the initial stages at school and kindergartens. It is the responsibility of the parents and the teachers at schools to educate our kids about their lawful rights and responsibilities towards their society and fellow citizens. In a very young age if we involve our kids to doing social and volunteering work benefiting them and the rest of the society as well as explain to them the proper ways of dealing with other individuals in the society there will be a responsible, alert and brighter forthcoming generations.
We shall stop sacrificing the interest of a congregation to quench our interests and feel pride in serving the public in a broader term. The malfunctioning of public services in Afghanistan is indeed as result of ignoring the improper practices of the public servants by the people themselves and giving them the room for their illicit demands which has led the society to the current widespread corruption cancer. We cannot shift the whole guilt to the government employees for this increasing corruption while disregarding the role that we could play as a larger bulk to resolve the issue. We do not have to create simultaneous anti corruption agencies and bureaucratic processes to tackle corruption or install watchdog cameras to monitor each individualís movements and motives while undermining the effectiveness of our share we could contribute to unease corrupt officials and refrain them from engagement in unlawful activities.
When I talk about police I am referring to the kind of law enforcement officers in the west. We need to educate, equip and delegate the right responsibilities to our police force. Unless, they know their primary responsibilities towards safeguarding the safety of individuals and maintaing law and order in the society at its best, spending a huge amount of money on an uneducated, violent and corrupt police is a wastage of time and financial means which could have been allocated to somewhere with better margin of efficacy and tangible result. It is strongly believed that over 70% of the Afghan police are addicted with drugs and due to the lack of acknowledgements and financial appraisals the reluctance to side with the victims and enforce the law on the culprits is the main issue in building an educated, effective and impartial police force. I always wonder when I see the dedication, patriotism and on duty commitments of the law enforcement officers here in the United States, no doubt, a pragmatic government in Afghanistan during the last 10 years could have utilized the expertise of our donor counterparts in taking the initial steps in building an efficient police force rather than focusing on the number and least effective in quality of service.
We do not need a police force designed for the present circumstances whose task is to carry an AK-47 and scare the public as it is a war zone, while we certainly need a well organized, tough and committed one designed for a lasting future. A police force that is not afraid of executing law and order in all levels of society and feel accountability towards the public as a whole.
I strongly believe that if we maintain such a police force, nobody in the society will ever dare to engage in a criminal act and will think twice before committing a crime. Sometimes, even if the police is taking the right steps in enforcing law and order, the so called big fishes in the government with links to these fugitives have created barriers towards the law enforcement and to a great extent has reinforced the mentality that the police is there to safeguard their interests and enforce the law on the ordinary citizens of the country.
Last but least, unless we focus on the education, equipping and right sense of responsibility to an impartial effective police personnel and meanwhile, educate ourselves about our rights and responsibilities in maintaing a sound society for our upcoming generations, the prevailing structure of producing illiterate and irresponsible police force with violent and aggressive mentality cures no pain in the future.
Corruption known as a devastating disease of the developing countries and mostly dominant in public offices certainly leads the society towards irresponsibility and anarchy. When a low level official sees the higher level as corrupt and inefficient, he/she certainly thinks why in the world shall he give a damn to honesty and stay clean or when he sees the public willing to bribe him and buy his service why would he offer it for free?
I utterly believe that we as the public have played a greater part in the increasing corruption within the Afghan public offices and if we are to blame someone we shall indeed point our fingers to our own selves. We have nourished the mentality of practicing short-cuts and giving room to the exploiters to exploit us and not thinking about the consequences of our acts.
A well informed society who knows about its rights and responsibilities will always abide by rules, obey and delegate the law to its fellow citizens. It is somehow justifiable since we as a nation still do not know our legal rights and have made no efforts to educate ourselves and get rid of passing responsibilities to others and express uneasiness about the level of corruption in public offices. I would suggest offensive resistance even on an individual level would make a great difference and meanwhile fostering the art of questioning authorities about your rights is the only way to summon corrupt officials and eventually allocate the right resources for the reasonable causes.
Although, history has proved that vows of allegiance to stay clean and committed in Afghanistan have always backfired, but still if we declare that we will not let anybody exploit our rights and benefit financially from us, we have certainly taken a great step in tackling corruption at its core.
Author: Naser Koshan