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Police call to modernise remains unheeded

Pakistan on 09 September 2013
Location : Karachi, Pakistan | Source : The International News

The government has still not addressed the core issue of equipping the police stations with modern technology despite announcing a number of counter-terrorism policies and initiatives to wipe out militancy from Karachi.
 
On a recent visit to Karachi, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered giving extensive powers to the Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) but ignored long-time demands of Karachi police for logistical support and manpower.
 
Police officials say many policies have been initiated but none for the Sindh police, which, they claim, have the capability of countering militancy if given proper assistance.
 
Over the years, modern weapons and equipment have been handed over to the specialised units of Sindh police. However, the range police, which are at the forefront on the battle lines with terrorists, are not even trained to fight against militants.
 
This year in Karachi alone, 127 law enforcement personnel, including 119 Sindh police officers, have been martyred in the line of duty.
 
The Karachi range has 106 police stations with about 25 the worst affected by militancy in Sohrab Goth, Gulshan-e-Maymar, Gadap City, Quaidabad, Landhi, Shireen Jinnah Colony, Mauripur, Ittehad Town, Lyari, Baldia Town, Manghopir, Peerabad, Mominabad, Sharae Noor Jehan. These areas come under the sway of militant outfits like Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
 
Despite being one of the 20 biggest cities in the world and the economy hub of Pakistan, Karachi has not been properly equipped law enforcement technology.
 
In the militancy-prone areas, police officials say, another major issue is the shortage of personnel as many officers are deployed for the security of VVIPs, leaving the sensitive areas without policemen.
 
Apart from the lack of bullet-proof jackets and helmets, another headache for the law enforcers is the shortage of armoured personnel carriers (APCs) in conflict zones.
 
Interestingly, in the hilly areas, the Suzuki pick-ups given to police are no match for the SUVs and jeeps used by the militants.
 
Citing many recent attacks, police officials claim the poor state of law enforcement encourages the militants to launch brazen attacks with impunity.
 
On August 7, at least 11 people were killed and 26 more were injured in a bomb blast outside a football ground in Lyari apparently targeting Sindh Katchi Abadis and Spatial Development Minister Javed Nagori, who survived the attack.
 
On August 16, the office of a major media house was attacked by four unidentified assailants, leaving a female staffer and a security guard injured on Korangi Road.
 
On the same day, militants ambushed the vehicle of Pakistan People’s Party leader Sania Naz Baloch near Dubai Chowk in Lyari. The MPA escaped unhurt.
 
Despite countless hurdles, the police have been working. Recently, the Sindh police and Rangers compiled a list of 450 suspects allegedly involved in lawlessness in Karachi.
 
The departmental heads of these two departments plan to send the list to the Federal Investigation Agency and other investigation cells deployed at airports to prevent the suspects from leaving the country.
 
But amid all the doom and gloom, there have been some positives. The Sindh government has officially given the city’s Command and Control Centre to the Karachi police. Inspector-ranked officers would be soon posted at the surveillance system and would work round the clock in three shifts.

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