Sindh Adds Former Soldiers to Police

Pakistan on 11 February 2014
Location : Sindh | Source : Eurasiareview. Image Source: Eurasiareview

Five hundred former army personnel February 7 completed their three-week training for Sindh Police’s Special Fighters Force (SFF).

The induction of former Pakistani soldiers into the force is putting Karachi’s militants and gangsters on edge, officials told Central Asia Online.

The SFF over the next few months will add another 1,000 army veterans as Sindh steps up efforts to help crush terrorism and lawlessness, officials said.

Essential for improving law and order

Security analysts and officials welcomed the induction.

“The existing strength of 32,000 policemen in Karachi is not an adequate response to terrorists and outlaws,” Sindh Home Department Adviser Sharfuddin Memon told Central Asia Online. “That’s why the Sindh government is inducting highly trained ex-army troops to combat miscreants who endanger lives and property.”

The provincial government is also providing police 1,000 bullet-proof jackets and 100 bullet-proof vehicles and armoured personnel carriers to protect policemen engaged in targeted operations and to further intensify operations.

Former army officers will help boost the force as they bring expertise in operations and weapons, Atiq Sheikh, a spokesman for Karachi police, told Central Asia Online.

“Increasing the strength of police and building up the capacity of law enforcement agencies are essential to improving the city and controlling militancy,” former Sindh Police inspector general Syed Mushtaq Shah told Central Asia Online.

Hiring ex-army personnel will certainly be helpful to security agencies determined to fight militants and criminals, he said.

The on-going operation has weakened militants and gangsters’ networks and we can further disrupt them by giving police more of what they need, Sultan Khowaja, deputy inspector general of the Sindh Criminal Investigation Department (CID), added.
Outlaws frustrated with Sindh’s move

“The induction of ex-army personnel has upset militants and gangsters who will face more tough times in the days ahead,” Sheikh said.

“We know that militants are upset with the move and are trying to demoralise our forces but targeted operations in the days ahead will be more furious,” he said, noting that militant attacks January 1 to February 5 in Karachi killed about 30 policemen.

In response to a question about a recent terrorist attempt to blow up the Police Training Academy in Karachi where the 500 new SFF personnel received their training, Sheikh said that threats were a routine matter for police and would not deter them. Karachi police have rounded up more than 9,000 outlaws in targeted operations since last September.

“I take pride in telling you that the number of targeted killings and the street crime rate have declined by 40% to 45% since the launching of operations and that efforts are being made to silence the guns of the militants and the criminals,” Memon said. “The Sindh government will not allow militants and criminals to sabotage the on-going operations.

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