Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pakistan ka Allah hafiz! (part one)

On the 13th of March, two guys riding a bike, stole the side mirrors of two of my cars while they were parked outside my house. My fault. Why did I leave the cars unattended? But in my defense, the porch needed to be washed and swept since we had a party at the house in the evening, so I asked the gatekeeper to wash the place leaving the cars unattended. The driver was on leave too.

Anyways, this is how the whole thing happened according to an eye witness, my gardener. Two young guys riding a motor bike stopped outside my house, near the cars. One kept sitting on the bike and the other, in a rather commando-ish action, jumped off and rushed straight to the first car and tore off the side mirror mercilessly. He rushed to the other side, making the other mirror suffer a similar fate. He repeated the same with the other car. Before he could reach to the third, he saw the gardener getting really close to the house riding his bicycle. The guy rushed back with his hands full of bounty, side mirrors of my cars, in this case, jumped on the bike and fled the scene. The gardener came charging in the living room with this tragic news, breaking it right on my head. Finally I understood what 'breaking news' meant. I walked out to the cars disgusted, angry and disappointed. One of the two cars was brand new. At the same time, I was quite relieved too since two other cars were safe.

I called my insurance company for a claim and narrated them the incident. I was told to come to the workshop in the morning with complete documents and a copy of First Incident Report lodged in the local police station. My heart sank. FIR? In the police station? A Pakistani police station? They'd take a bribe more that the value of the mirror for the FIR. Anyhow, I gathered all my strength, took along a friend who's a lawyer (thinking that lawyer are these days a bigger mafia than even the police) and drove straight to the nearby police station. I presented the 'muharrar' (the guy who writes all the reports or complaints lodged in the police station) the application we had written narrating the theft incident. Seeing the application, his response was, 'meinu angrezi nai parhni aandi, tusi zabani dasso ki raula aay' (I cannot read English, so tell me your problem verbally), and we did. He told us to leave the application and come back later in the evening because only the SHO or Station House Officer could order for the FIR to be lodged. All right. No problem. We'll be back in the evening. And we were. There was no electricity. Entire police station was clad in darkness, but some how we did reach Muharrar's room. He directed us to the SHO's room and handed one constable our application to present to the good officer. Walking through a dark, wet ally, we found SHO and his office. Greeted him, he replied in a very cold and aloof manner. We didn't mind. Told him what we were there for, he listened carelessly. Meanwhile our application reached his worthy table, and after the first glance he commented, 'aay hun angrezi kaun parhay ga?' (who will read this English now). He told us to leave the application with them and they'll look into it. We pleaded that your 'highness' we won't get an insurance claim with the copy of the report (implying that we have no intention or hope that you'll find the thieves or recover our mirrors and neither do we wish to disturb you by asking you to do so) so please help us O lord. After much pleading, almost crying, he asked a subordinate to write a 'rapat' (report) of an accident and give us a copy. We pleaded again that Sir it was a case of theft and not an accident, and only an FIR of the incident would serve the purpose.

His mood changed. He told us to pick up our application and to come back with one written in Urdu. After that he will look into it and will decide if any such incident actually happened or are we just making it up. Basically telling us that our FIR will not be filed and we could just fuck off.

We left with a heavy heart. Next day I couldn't convince my self to go back again to that hell. But I had to, or else I'd have to pay for the mirrors from my pocket. Day after I went again with my lawyer friend. We were told that SHO sahab was on leave and we should come after a couple of days. On further enquiry we found out that there was a duty officer in charge of the police station. We went to his room, greeted him, explained verbally the theft and what we were going through. Presented him our application, this time written in Urdu. The listened our plight, read our application, saw our faces and probably could spot the tears that were might come out to plead next. For a few moments he paused, without saying anything, he got up a started walking swiftly to the muharrar's rooms. We followed him, quietly. He told muharrar to lodge the FIR and to give us the copy in 15 minutes, and walked out, again without saying anything to us. Eventually we did get the copy of the report after an hour, but the muharrar clearly wasn't happy. He was, in fact, angry. Probably because he could've made a few thousand rupees out of this.

Few points:

1 - Two guys come, right in the middle of the day and steal side mirrors of cars on a busy road without any fear.

2 - Duty of police is to protect the life, property and honor of the citizens, but they have problem even reporting the crime, which is the least they could do.

3 - Was that duty officer really from Pakistan Police?


  1. Ok..its pretty similar to what will happen here too..But many a time police dissuade people from filing FIR in cases where practically they cannot apprehend the thieves..Why? Because they are answerable to their higher ups on the number of pending FIRs..

    If you had promised him that after you claim the insurance, you will come back and close the FIR, that could have helped..just saying.

    Btw, what's there to cry in this case! how much does each one mirror cost?

  2. Point is not how much the mirrors would cost or the reasons why they don't want to lodge an FIR. But the point is that every incident, major or minor, whether they can solve it or not should come on the record. Secondly, I don't care if this also happens in India or America or wherever. I just know that this shouldn't happen in Pakistan.

  3. A visit to the Police Station is not only a scary experience but also something that is dreaded by the common man. Police just harass them and make a law abiding citizens cower.. and extort bribes from them.. all this while treating the likes of Dawood Ibrahim like royalty..!!

    Though, I believe that the worst of the lot are the Traffic Police..!! Yet to see ONE honest bloke..!! :x