January 2008 News

IG says strength of AJK police unsatisfactory

12 January 2008
The Dawn
Tariq Naqash

MUZAFFARABAD: Despite demands for reinforcement in the wake of terrorist attacks across the country, the Azad Kashmir police remain far short of the required strength. This was stated by acting inspector-general of police Faheem Ahmed Khan. He said the strength of the AJK police should have been at least 15,000, but it stood at only 7,650.“We have one policeman for 950 people whereas under international standards the ratio should be 4501 and 5501 in rural and urban areas, respectively. “Besides, unlike other provinces we don’t have any civil armed force and thus the whole burden lies on police force,” he said. He regretted that the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority’s fund of Rs161 million for recruitment and purchase of security equipment would be provided in four phases and not in one go. He added that the first tranche of Rs40 million had been released recently but it was to be spent on vehicle and equipment purchases, though the AJK police department wanted it to be used for recruiting personnel. He said that the AJK had been the most peaceful area of the country and its police worked hard to provide protection to the people, particularly foreigners working on development projects here. He said that a special group of 130 policemen had been formed for the security of Chinese engineers and workers engaged in the Mangla Dam extension project in Mirpur and a similar pattern would be followed in Muzaffarabad. The IGP said that last year 225 people died in road accidents in the Azad Kashmir and the police department had submitted a comprehensive plan to the government for establishing “highway police” to curb traffic violations leading to fatal accidents.

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