‘1 man in uniform for 950 people’
Muzaffarabad, Jan 10: Despite growing demands of reinforcement of security apparatus in the wake of unrelenting attacks in Pakistan, the police in Pakistan administered Kashmir are still far short of the required strength but ironically the people at the helm of affairs do not seem to be taking this issue seriously.
This was gauged here on Thursday from the press talk of acting inspector general of PaK police Faheem Ahmed Khan who, while responding to a question by this correspondent, told that the strength of police in PaK should have been at least 15000 but it was only 7650.
“We have one soldier for 950 people whereas according to international standards the ratio should be 450:1 and 550:1 in rural and urban areas, respectively. Apart from that, unlike the provinces we don’t have any civil armed force which has put the whole burden on the police force,” he said.
The acting IGP told that though the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Erra) had approved Rs 161 million for reinforcement of PaK police through fresh recruitment and purchase of security equipment and transport, it would, however, be provided in four phases.
The first tranche of Rs 40 million had been recently released but it was to be spent on vehicles and equipment purchase although the PaK police department wanted its utilisation on augmentation of its strength, he added.
Though PaK had a history of being the most peaceful area of the country, yet the police were fully alive to the situation and had made maximum possible watertight arrangements to provide protection particularly to the foreigners undertaking mega development projects here, he said.
He told that a specialised group of 130 policemen had been raised for the protection of Chinese engineers and workers engaged at the Mangla Dam extension project in Mirpur and almost same pattern would be followed in Muzaffarabad.
He also told that stringent checking had been put in place at entry and exit points linking PaK with Pakistan.
The acting IGP said that last year 225 people were killed in road accidents in PaK and the police department had submitted a comprehensive plan to the government for establishment of “highway patrolling police” to minimise incidents of traffic violations, leading to road accidents.
Similarly, as a proactive approach, “heinous crime management cells” were also being formed with respective DIGs as their heads to take necessary measures to control and check serious crimes and expedite investigations into them, he added.