Pakistan Police Performance against Sectarianism & Extremism

Police performance against sectarianism, extremism

* Cases against 12,005 individuals, 2,963 convicted since July 2005
* 4 out of 308 booked for publishing hate material
* 146 accused of collecting funds for jihadi groups, 50 punished
* 593 imams held for fanning religious hatred, 299 were declared innocent * 10 accused of building mosques sans NOC, all declared innocent

Staff Report, Daily Times, May 9, 2008

LAHORE: The Punjab Police, in its drive against militancy, sectarianism and extremism since July 2005, have registered 12,005 cases against 13,100 individuals, but only 2,963 of the accused were convicted, as allegations levelled against the remaining could not be proved, according to the crime data available with Daily Times.

President Pervez Musharraf, addressing the nation on July 21, 2005, ordered law enforcement agencies to crack down on militancy, sectarianism and extremism across the country. The Punjab Police, following an order of the federal government, launched a campaign on July 29, 2005, against militancy and extremism.

The police registered 12,005 cases against 13,100 accused, while courts declared 11,790 of them innocent because of a lack of evidence.

The police also took action against the misuse of loudspeakers, publication and distribution of hate literature, collection of funds by extremists and banned organisations, fanning sectarian hate, unauthorised construction of mosques and madrassas, and brandishing of arms.

During the campaign till April 15, 2008, the police had registered 10,194 cases against 10,548 individuals on the charge of misusing loudspeakers. The police submitted 9,489 challans in various courts and arrested 9,800 accused. The courts released 9,716 of the total accused, since the charges levelled against them could not be proven.

Hate material: The police registered 189 cases against 308 individuals, accusing them of publishing and distributing objectionable material to fan religious hate. Only four accused were convicted, whereas 155 were declared innocent. The data showed that 40 such accused were still in police custody.

Funds collection: The police charged 146 individuals of various groups alleged to be jihadi in 142 cases of collecting funds to promote militancy.

Only 50 such accused were convicted and the remaining were declared innocent.

Imams: The police also registered 213 cases against 593 imams, accusing them of fanning religious hate. Out of the total booked, six imams were convicted, while 299 were declared innocent. The remaining 111 imams are still in police custody.

Mosques: The president, in his address, had also announced that no new mosque and seminary could be constructed without obtaining a no-objection certificate (NOC) for the authorities concerned.

The police registered seven cases against 10 individuals accused of constructing mosques or seminaries without an NOC. However, the courts declared all accused innocent, since charges levelled against them could not be proven.

Arms: Since the presidential directions, the police have booked 1,406 individuals in 1,210 cases of brandishing arms. Courts declared 1,304 accused innocent, while punished 122 of them.

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