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A counterproductive step

The Punjab government’s decision to set up a new Counter Terrorism Force is being looked at skeptically by the police department

A counterproductive step

Police officials say that Pakistan is among the top five police-contributing countries to the UN peace missions over the last decade, and the professional performance of Pakistani officers in UN peacekeeping operations is rated highly. But the Interior Ministry has put a ban on sending police officials on UN missions, terming internal security as a reason while there is no bar on sending military and civil officials.

“Principal secretaries to both the PM and CM have always been DMG officials, chief secretary Punjab, interior secretary and Punjab Home Department secretary all are from the DMG. They show them only one side of the picture,” they say.

DMG officials, on the other hand, believe a new force under police would make no difference. “It is not about showing authority of one group on the other but forming specialised force to fight terror. We have already seen the fate of elite force in Punjab police which was trained to counter terrorism. When Anti-Narcotics Force, Rescue 1122 and Motorway Police were established, a few lobbies had propagated that these will fail but these departments shined only because these were separated from the routine police affairs,” says one official.

Police officials are not ready to buy their argument. “Why don’t they mention the prison department? It is also under Home department and everybody knows the situation. Motorway and terrorism are two different entities. You cannot fence terrorism like Motorway,” says a police official.

Islamabad-based security expert Aamir Rana says the CTD has been doing a good job in the given resources. “To establish a new department instead of reforming existing departments is very dangerous. We have already seen the fate of Nacta and Crisis Management Cell — not headed by the police and becoming almost redundant. Internal security departments cannot work without police.”

“The government should focus on building the capacity of existing police force. The country has no counter terrorism policy so far but government does not hesitate from setting up new departments. They should better focus on preparing policy instead of creating mistrust among the law-enforcement departments,” he concludes.

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  • I think PML-N leadership has the history to run country with the help of some baboos. They do not trust even elected representatives. They have not understand yet that it is not 1990s. They are still in hangover and need to get out of it as soon as possible. I am not a big fan of police but the way police has been ridiculed show Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif do not have good advisor around.

  • Another anti-PMLN story by Aoun Sahi. I don’t think it is bad step to set up a separate anti-terrorism force. Everybody knows the capacity and capability of police.

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