Monday, July 23, 2007

NWFP Law Enforcement Capacity

Comment: During a recent interview on AAJ TV (July 15), Chief Minister of NWFP Akram Durrani said that NWFP has a total of 14 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) out of which 7 were not functional (needing repairs)and the total number of police personnel in the provicne is 15000 (for a population of 18 million). The latest federal government grant to upgrade NWFP police (details below) is a good move but the question is why was it not done before. Pakistan is actively engaged in the "war on terror" and it is a known fact that many religious extremist groups are entrenced in certain parts of NWFP, so why the law enfocement capacity of the province was not improved before. Reportedly, Pakistan received bulky aid packages for fighting the war on terror. Where all that money has gone?

Rs 4.3bn sanctioned for NWFP security
* 7,000 bulletproof jackets and 20 APCs to be purchased
* NWFP minister rules out possibility of army operation in Swat
By Naveed Siddiqui: Daily Times, July 24, 2007

ISLAMABAD: President General Pervez Musharraf has sanctioned Rs 4.3 billion for purchasing security equipment for the NWFP police and other law enforcement agencies to increase their counter terrorism capability - particularly in the restive Swat valley.

NWFP Information Minister Asif Iqbal Daudzai told Daily Times on Monday that NWFP Chief Minister Akram Khan Durrani had requested for the funds. He said peace was restored in Swat valley after the grand jirga had held meetings with local religious and militant leaders. The minister ruled out possibility of an immediate military action in the valley.

He said the provinces could not purchase weapons and other equipment without the federal government’s assent. About 7,000 bullet proof jackets, 20 armoured personnel carriers (APCs), 6,000 AK-47 assault rifles and 1,000 rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) had been purchased from the presidential fund, he said, adding that more weapons would be bought by mid-August.

“We have to build the Special Police Branch (SPB) and Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on modern lines. The security personnel will be provided with the latest equipment to counter terrorists,” he said, adding that the provincial government had released Rs 50 million for restructuring the SPB.

He said the federal government had decided to give the Frontier Constabulary’s control to the NWFP government from January next year. He said the provincial government had got back 31 FC platoons out of the total 46.

Asif said 9,000 anti-terrorism police personnel were being trained at army centres in Bannu, Peshawar and Hangu and that they would be deployed by January 2008.

“About 7,500 police personnel were recruited under the presidential grant while another 7,500 were raised by the provincial resources,” he added.

He said the NWFP government was setting up peace committees at district, tehsil, union council and police station levels where clerics and politicians would mobilise the people against terrorism.

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