As a citizen of a country with functioning constitution, paid police cum paramilitary forces, security establishment, civil bureaucracy and an elected government, it was shocking for me to witness this country and its citizens being hounded without any hindrance by handful of miscreants armed with sticks, iron rods etc for three days.

Use of force is sole monopoly of state to enforce its writ and protect lives and property of citizens. Instead of State using proportionate force to restore law and order, it was seen surrendering this authority in violation of its constitutional obligations to miscreants. It defies logic and common sense why such chaos and anarchy was allowed to prevail in Pakistan for almost three days.

Police was nowhere to be seen within city limits, motorways and even cantonments. Miscreants were given a free hand and there was no visible attempt by state to come to rescue of citizens. While in a democracy peaceful protest is assured, but this does not override constitutional right of every citizen to move freely, travel within country, have access to hospitals, airports, railway stations etc.

It was not a mob of thousands or lakhs who could not be controlled, but no more than four to five thousand, scattered all over the country who blocked motorways, went on rampage stoning or burning cars, major roads, airports, railway stations etc, giving calls amounting to treason. Surprisingly this anarchy was predominantly visible in Punjab and Karachi.

All that was needed was few thousand policemen and paramilitary forces, equipped with tear gas, water cannons and light baton charge to arrest these miscreants without firing any shot. What purpose do these uniformed armed law enforcement services serve, if they cannot protect lives of citizens?

ALI MALIK TARIQ,

Lahore, November 6.a