This is in response to the letter Attack Prevented by Yasir Hameed. The police in Pakistan have a terrible reputation. There appears to be an across-the-board consensus that the institution of police is largely corrupt, often brutal and institutionally incompetent. Consequently, justice is elusive, insecurity is rampant and ordinary people are the worst victims of this system. Without doubt there is an element of truth in these perceptions actually a lot of truth. However, in an overall scenario and in comparative terms, police performance is not much different from the output of customs officials, bureaucrats running the provincial and federal secretariats, intelligence services and even the army when it tries to run the country. The police gets the most blame though because it is visible to everyone and is expected to do everything ranging from crisis management to resolving political and legal disputes besides facing the wrath of people in response to the blunders committed by the countrys leadership both political and military. Effective police force is critical to countering insurgency. In Pakistan, an understaffed and under-equipped police force is increasingly called on to manage rising insecurity and militant violence. This report evaluates the obstacles to upgrading the existing police system and recommends traditional and innovative reform options, including major restructuring of the total civilian law enforcement infrastructure, without which the police force cannot be effectively improved. Because Pakistans police capacity has direct implications for the countrys ability to tackle terrorism, the United States and its allies should help the country by helping law enforcement efforts through modern training and technical assistance. SAMIA AMIR MALIK, Islamabad, November 21.