Tuesday March 05, 2024

Police facing sheer scarcity of force in maintaining law and order situation

December 10, 2023

Islamabad : The Police Department of the Federal Capital, the most sensitive metropolitan, are facing difficulties, even, to run their routine matters to maintain law and order system and provide peaceful atmosphere to the people of the city but imperfectly depending on borrowed forces to run their security requirements and unable to meet major challenges as general elections, terrorism or vicious remonstration exposures that faced by the law enforcement agencies previously from a violent political party, because to neglecting behaviour from the concerned government quarters.

Islamabad police seen at a security check-point in the federal capital. — Twitter/ @ICT_Police
Islamabad police seen at a security check-point in the federal capital. — Twitter/ @ICT_Police

“Political stalwarts, government personalities and political rallies are under threat during the election campaigns,” intelligence agencies warn. The bosses acknowledge that the Federal Capital is facing sheer scarcity of strength to maintain law and order situation during any untoward state of affairs. The question remains unanswered as to how the federal capital police could maintain order during the prevailing state of affairs? And how the Capital Police could meet such a gigantic challenge to fight against the anti-state activists within the limited resources?

How the Islamabad Police can execute important role of securing the Federal Capital Territory with in the a lesser amount of manpower of only 10,000 personnel against a required strength of 30,000. How, the Capital Police Department perform according to the requirement and expectations within the prevailing strength and limited resources? The answer is “NO”, because the government has least interest in strengthening the Islamabad police with the last priority.

While, to establish counter-terrorism strategy, is the prime concern and main preference to constitute and put experienced and well-equipped forces in order, use their entire capabilities with their resources to build a security wall in front anti-state activists. Counteracting terrorism during big events, such as election campaigns and general elections, requires a comprehensive approach that involves various stakeholders and strategies. Here are some steps that can be taken in Pakistan to address this issue seriously.

Strengthen intelligence agencies’ capabilities to gather information on potential threats and share it with relevant authorities. This includes monitoring extremist groups, tracking their activities, and identifying potential targets. Increase security measures at election-related events, including rallies, public gatherings, and polling stations. This can involve deploying additional law enforcement personnel, establishing checkpoints, and implementing strict access control measures.

In such alarming and fearing circumstances, the government should collaborate with international partners, such as intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies, to share information, expertise, and best practices in countering terrorism during elections. Improve intelligence capabilities to identify potential threats and gather actionable information. Collaborate with local law enforcement agencies, intelligence agencies, and international partners to share information and coordinate efforts.

Provide specialised training to law enforcement agencies, security personnel, and election officials on counterterrorism measures. This includes training on threat assessment, emergency response, and crisis management. The security experts believe that it is a perfect time to reinforce cyber security measures to protect election-related infrastructure, including voter registration databases and election management systems, from cyber threats. This involves implementing robust firewalls, encryption protocols, and regular security audits. The people having security expertise believed to develop strong relationships between law enforcement and intelligence agencies to keep eye on the anti-state actors, encourage community members to actively participate in countering terrorism efforts by reporting suspicious activities and cooperating with authorities. Promote political stability and inclusivity to address grievances and reduce the appeal of extremist ideologies. This can be achieved through fair and transparent elections, effective governance, and inclusive policies that address socio-economic disparities. And conduct thorough post-event analysis to identify any security gaps or failures and implement corrective measures for future elections.

It is important to note that these steps should be implemented in accordance with the local context and in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, including government agencies, law enforcement, political parties, civil society organisations, and international partners, they believe. Managing a big security challenge with a small threat of violence in Pakistan requires a comprehensive approach that focuses on prevention, preparedness, and response. Here are some strategies to consider

Demeanour a thorough risk assessment to identify vulnerabilities and develop a comprehensive security plan. This plan should include measures such as increased surveillance, enhanced physical security and deployment of additional personnel. Edify the public about potential security threats and encourage them to report any suspicious activities. Establish a hotline or online platform where citizens can provide information anonymously. Engage with political parties and candidates to ensure they understand the importance of security measures during election campaigns. Encourage them to follow security protocols and cooperate with law enforcement agencies.

Implement strict security measures during election campaigns and on the day of the elections. This may include increased police presence, deployment of paramilitary forces, and the establishment of checkpoints at key locations. Educate voters about security measures in place and encourage them to exercise their right to vote without fear. Establish mechanisms to protect voters from intimidation or violence, such as providing secure polling stations and ensuring the presence of law enforcement personnel.

Seek assistance and cooperation from international partners, particularly in terms of intelligence sharing, training, and capacity building. Collaborate with neighbouring countries to prevent cross-border terrorism. Conduct a thorough analysis of security measures implemented during big events, including elections. Identify any gaps or weaknesses and make necessary improvements for future events. It is important to note that these strategies should be tailored to the specific context and continuously adapted based on the evolving security situation.

The top cop of the Islamabad Capital Territory Police (ICTP) prioritising the policing believes that their functions as the primary law enforcement entity entrusted with the mandate of preserving serenity, ensuring security, and upholding legal order within the federal capital territory. Its integral role lies in safeguarding the welfare of residents, visitors, and critical government institutions in this strategically significant and diplomatically relevant hub. Operating with a distinct commitment to high-alert security strategies, swift emergency response services, and counter-terrorism endeavours, the ICTP assumes a pivotal position in Islamabad’s security apparatus, systematically addressing the distinctive security intricacies faced by the capital. Tasked with the identification, delineation, and planning of proactive security measures, the ICTP also bears the responsibility of promptly addressing public service requests.