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Peshawar

January 4, 2015

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2014: No cop awarded top gallantry medal

PESHAWAR: Probably for the first time in Pakistan’s history, no cop from across the country was awarded the top two gallantry medals, Quaid-e-Azam Police Medal and Pakistan Police Medal in 2014, as the federal government failed to put forward the list to the President, a source said.
The President of Pakistan on the recommendation of the Interior Ministry through the prime minister confers QPM and PPM to the cops from across the country on August 14 every year. This time the Interior Ministry failed to forward the names to the prime minister till the end of the year.
“The names of 39 police officers and officials from across the country were finalized for QPM and PPM by the two committees in the Interior Ministry from the lists sent by their respective provinces. However, the final list of 39 cops couldn’t be forwarded to the prime minister who had to send it to the president for conferring the medals,” said a source.
Among the 39 officers finalized by the Interior Ministry committees, 24 are from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, five from Balochistan, four from Gilgit-Baltistan, three from Punjab and one each from Sindh, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the Pakistan Railways Police.
“In 2012, 45 policemen were awarded QPM and PPM while another 54 were conferred the gallantry medals in 2013 for showing extraordinary bravery in police operations,” the source added.
Apart from all the provinces, AJ&K and Railways Police every year recommend the names of officers and cops who show bravery in actions against the terrorists and criminals.
At least two committees scrutinize the names of the officers nominated by the provinces after which the final list is sent to the prime minister who after approval forwards it to the president before announcement of the names for the awards on August 14.
“All the provinces had sent the names of officers to the federal government where the final list was also prepared, but these couldn’t be forwarded to the prime

minister and the president for unknown reasons,” the source said, adding that this is probably for the first time in the history of the country that the federal government failed to send names of the police officers and officers for PPM and QPM.
“The worst example of the government’s negligence, apathy and disregard towards police was exhibited in 2014 when recommendation for the QPM and PPM sent by various provinces were totally ignored by the Interior Ministry,” said the source.
The source added that this omission on part of the Ministry of Interior has led to resentment and demoralization among the rank and file of police forces of various provinces.
“Police officers from the rank of inspector general to constables have sacrificed their lives for the cause of the country in fighting the war on terrorism. They died young leaving their wives widowed and children orphaned,” said a seasoned cop.
The government has recently started considering reviving NACTA and raising Rapid Response Force (RRF) to counter terrorism. Several steps are being taken to counter terrorism but ignoring police in the award of gallantry medals has demoralized many good cops.
“The perception of development cannot be materialized without addressing the basic question of security. The police are the single most important first line responder to the security needs of the country whose needs and welfare should have taken precedence over other adventures undertaken by the present government. Unfortunately, this has been ignored,” said a senior police officer.

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