Hardly ever anything seems to be going right for Pakistan, a country plagued by both militancy and crime. Yet somehow we always manage to retain a glimmer of hope.
Such was the case when in 2008 the chief minister of Punjab called back Muhammad Tahir Ashraf, an American Pakistani forensic expert to come and set up a forensic lab in Lahore to help better investigate crime and terrorism in the country.
Tahir Ashraf who owns his own forensic lab in US has a thirty six years’ experience of working with the US police and his biggest catch include that of the famous boxer Mike Tyson. He even holds the distinction of writing new handbooks on forensic.
No doubt his coming is certainly a good omen for the Pakistani police for the police system of Pakistan still lags far behind in the nineteenth century where the police remain inadequately trained even to be able to properly take out the minor task of fingerprinting.
And even today most unfortunately the police still rely on witnesses and other medieval means to catch the culprits, a method long abandoned in the developed west.
Furthermore being notoriously corrupt itself, more than often the cases are framed by the police itself and innocent end up becoming the victims of police’s perjury.
To correct this mischief, the chief minister of Punjab called Muhammad Tahir back from US in 2008 to start working on solving crime in his own homeland.
From the very beginning the odds always seemed to be against Tahir. From the police being untrained in the art of collecting forensic evidence to the usual problem of it itself creating evidence everything somehow managed to create an irritant for Tahir’s work.
Having lived most of his life in US, Tahir was once shocked to see a police officer fingerprinting himself when collecting evidence.
Finally to set the matters right Tahir with the support of Chief minister Shahbaz Sharif has managed to initiate a training program for police for the collection of evidence and other tasks and hopefully things might get better in the future.
Already the signs of improvement are there as the police have finally managed to pack the material right and now around half the samples Tahir’s lab receives are packaged correctly. An achievement no doubt considering the literacy levels of our policemen.
Yet Tahir’s greatest disappointment remains the corrupt judicial system of Pakistan which more than often ends up wasting his effort. Hopefully Mian sahb you are reading our article and will now work to set things right here too!