Sir: Recently, the Islamabad Police arrested more than 80 beggars in just two days. The idea was to get rid of the menace of begging. The police have not registered FIRs against the beggars either. It remains to be seen whether this is a good idea or not. The capital police has made it its mission to tackle the ‘curse’ of beggary. It’s indeed a great job done when more than 80 people are picked up in just 48 hours. But one must stop to ask what on earth are we even doing. This group included women and children. Instead of addressing the root cause of beggary, and actually going after the mafia that organises this racket, we are instead attacking people who have nothing. It is the month of Ramzan and it is our duty to help those in need. Let’s not pretend that this ‘campaign’ is anything but a ploy to help maintain the ‘elite-ness’ of the capital. Such a city cannot afford so many poor, so let us pretend that we are addressing a mafia that promotes begging by putting away the most destitute of people. Where are the shelters that these people can go to instead? What resources are available for their rehabilitation? What jobs are offered to them? Instead of FIRs we must extend helping hands — and instead of campaigns to lock them up, we need campaigns to get them off the street. The Islamabad SSP has said that strict action is waiting for those that force women and children into this terrible position — but he says nothing about what how he will go and find these people to hold them accountable. Let’s clean up the capital, but let’s do it the right way. The rich aren’t the only stakeholders in the city — and the poor deserve compassion. MEHEK PERVAIZ Faisalabad Published in Daily Times, June 13th 2018.