A probationary officer of exemplary conduct

Daily: Daily Times
Date: 20.01.16

Reward — even if couched in appreciation — retains an inherent power of emboldening the
virtuous resolve of the recipient, besides smothering undesirable penchants if any exist. To
produce an effect, reward dwarfs reprimand in significance. Very few are privy to this
theme. On the whole, Pakistani society is yet to mature to fathom the overwhelming need of
bequeathing reward especially when society finds out local heroes. One such star is
present in the Civil Services Academy (CSA), Walton, Lahore.

Muhammad Raza Tanveer, a probationary officer of the Police Service of Pakistan, of the
43rd Common Training Programme (CTP) from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa deserves to be
admired publicly for his pro-humanitarian toil, which he frequently renders both inside the
CSA and outside it without any expectation of getting noticed or awarded. This altruism of
his has prompted me (a syndicate advisor at the CSA for Syndicate 14) to write a piece
declaring him a probationary (police) officer of exemplary conduct. Raza Tanveer is not
only an example for other probationary officers to follow but also a message to the police
about the kind of person who is about to join them. Raza Tanveer is a doctor, a graduate of
Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad. He was also a lecturer at Gandhara Medical College.
Arguably, there might be many probationary officers before him doing the same kind of
philanthropic work but they may have remained unnoticed and unidentified. This point is a
reality in society, which sometimes considers appreciation a gift better sequestered, except
this time.

Institutes such as the CSA are meant not only for training (general or special) but also for
the overt purpose of the character building of trainees. A training institute that de-
emphasises the character building aim is surely short of meeting the expectations of society
and defies the very objective of its formation; the institute is then just a waste of time and
money. The CSA is commendable in the sense that it actively arranges not only community
work but also syndicate research work to expose probationary officers (who happen to be
more students than officers) to the ground realities of society (and life). The consequent
interaction helps syndicate advisors classify probationary officers on the touchstone of their
level of involvement and contribution to any given task.

Randomness (in selection) is valued in research for its giving less biased results (compared
to planned selection) and so is its importance in other-than-research life. The same chance
favours Raza Tanveer who I found on three different occasions taking care of others. First,
he was found pushing the wheelchair of his fellow probationary officer from the Inland
Revenue Service, Usman Asif, who got his right foot fractured while playing football in the
beginning of the training programme and required someone’s help to travel a sufficiently
long distance to and fro from Bolan Hall, the place of his residence, to classrooms for more
than one month. Arrogance is commonly considered part and parcel of probationary police
officers but, in this case, it was humbleness that ruled. A humble and caring police officer
will at least not baton charge the blind when they take to the roads demanding jobs
promised by the Constitution.

The second instance was that, for research purposes, during the visits of Syndicate 14 to
four different schools/centres of children with mental and physical disabilities in Lahore,
Raza Tanveer remained involved with the children. Here, the name of another probationary
officer from the Pakistan Audit and Accounts’ Service, Saba Hameed, of the same
syndicate, is also worth mentioning. Their involvement in the affairs of children with
disabilities to understand their problems is valued by this writer because these children
have been segregated from society and have no voice of their own to speak up for their
rights. Perhaps, those who are with mental disabilities do not know whether or not any
rights exist for them. They in fact have been quarantined by society in general — as a
superfluous part capable of infecting society with disabilities — to wait for departure from
this world. To see a human being in a different — if not dysfunctional or distorted — mental
or physical state and stature (who looks like a human being) and to watch him or her
struggling for survival is a heart-wrenching and unforgettable experience. The length of the
experience leaves its impact and so it is. To show concern for these children, get mixed-up
with them, shake hands and converse with them needs a lot of mettle; it is the first step to
breaching the isolation imposed on them by society. It needs a strong but caring heart to
associate oneself with these children. Doing that is what has made these two probationary
officers special in my eyes. Certainly, Pakistan needs civil servants who associate
themselves with deprived sections of society and demand nothing in return.

The third instance is that, on January 14, Raza Tanveer was found helping a fellow
probationary officer who was blind and had been trying to find his way out of the CSA
library. This time, in this CTP, there are three probationary officers who are blind. In the
40th CTP, there was only one. Though their inclusion in the civil services indicates that
society is awakening to the need of tapping the intellectual potential present in persons with
disabilities, starting from the blind is the first step in the right direction at the national level.

By his actions, Raza Tanveer has shown to fellow probationers how to approach society,
which offers civil servants loads of respect and more-than-adequate privileges. In return,
society expects to be served, not to be ruled by civil servants. It is hoped that Raza
Tanveer will keep serving the poor and under-privileged of this country for the rest of his
career. The same are the expectations from Saba Hameed and Usman Asif, as the latter
had a practical experience of helplessness.

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