City Traffic Police is a Public Friendly & Service Oriented initiative, envisioned by the leadership of PMLQ under the Good Governance Program of Punjab Government. Officers of the team were very carefully chosen to be designated “Traffic Wardens Lahore” instead of “Traffic Police” as the word police is intimidating and somewhat considered corrupt in the Pakistani community. Choosing a public friendly name clearly depicts the notion and mission to facilitate the public by PMLQ. The vision behind its conception was to take care of road users instead of policing them. People of Punjab were already fed up by the corrupt and sparsely educated traffic police whose main aim was to take hefty bribes from motorists.
Traffic Police a Symbol of Previous Government’s Corruption
Earlier governments of PPP and PMLN had always used the police department to undermine their opponents. Their malpractice of using police for personal gains, wrecked the department’s infrastructure and it got deeply involved in corruption. The department was deterred from its main purpose i.e. to protect the public, and was being used for VIP protocols and blackmailing. Hence when Moonis Elahi came into power, the infamous traditional traffic police was recognized as a dishonest and crooked force. The need of the hour was to provide unhindered and non-biased law enforcement institution that would prove to be a public service instead of a force to be used against them.
Moonis Elahi Emphasizes on Recruiting Educated Youth
A state owned law enforcement department has many rights that can prove to be lethal if used negatively. Moonis Elahi was aware of the fact that if uneducated people would be introduced to Traffic Warden force it would soon become shady like its predecessor. Traditional traffic police’s entry level was Matric and even lower, but this time the bar was raised to give the educated youth a chance to serve their nation with pride, so entry level education requirement was restricted to be at least graduation. It is believed that 70% of Pakistanis are under the age of 25 years and the announcement was hailed publicly as it created jobs for the educated youth.
Gender Equality and Women Rights
Moonis Elahi has always stood up for women rights. It was already clear to him that the daughters of this nation are courageous and can work well under stress. So, for the very first time, in a department considered only for the male staff, females were inducted giving an equal opportunity. This enlightened a new ray of hope in the females and they enthusiastically applied. As the new force completed its training and were formally deployed on the roads, citizens rejoiced and the traffic soon became organized causing the graph of road accidents and traffic jams to plunge. For the very first time Transparency International Report mentioned in 2009 that Traffic Wardens had proved to be beneficial and the streets of Punjab were made corruption free.
Present Government’s Attitude
Replacing traditional traffic police by educated, polite and dutiful traffic wardens was a gift to the nation by PMLQ which was appreciated by the public at large. This noble deed could not be digested by the present government and their vindictive policy to sabotage PMLQ’s achievements came in to play. Soon after regaining power, PMLN started ignoring the vital department and began favoring the Punjab Police Department. Their spite was soon revealed when traffic wardens did not receive their salary for months. The department was deprived of funds hence there were no new uniforms and the motorbikes given for patrolling soon started falling off. Moonis Elahi was watching all this very closely and raised his concerns in the provincial assembly which resulted in the wardens having their salaries resumed after many months.