Wednesday May 29, 2024

Unsanctioned guards being withdrawn from VIPs, police chief tells court

By Akhtar Amin
March 30, 2018

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Inspector General of Police (IGP) Salahuddin Mahsud has said that the Police Department is trying to withdraw the unsanctioned guards on duty with the very important persons (VIPs) and others to ensure security to the general public.

This was stated in the reply submitted by the IGP to the Peshawar High Court (PHC) in a writ petition filed against the deployment of around 5,500 policemen for security of the VIPs instead of protecting the public.

He requested the court to dispose of the petition as the respondents, including Police Department, chief secretary and secretary Home are trying their level best to withdraw the unsanctioned guards, ensure smooth flow of traffic and protect the general public.

The police chief noted that when the wave of terrorism was at its peak in the province, the general public was fighting against the militants shoulder to shoulder with the local police.

“Therefore, police guards were deployed to assist the public. In the same vein, the police guards were provided for the security of the government servants, public representatives and others who were reportedly under severe threats,” the IGP explained in the reply.

He added that the security was provided after assessment of the threat and with the sole aim of protecting human lives and averting the incidents of terrorism and target killings.

The police chief submitted that in order to prevent the misuse of police guards by unauthorized persons, a campaign was launched by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police to withdraw such guards and task them with safety and protection of the general public.

During this campaign, the police chief revealed, 368 constables had been withdrawn from duty with unauthorized persons.

“In addition to the designated police guards, security guards have been deputed to preempt the security threats to certain individuals and institutions,” he stated.

However he argued that most of the police guards were designated and the additional security arrangements were made to avert and prevent subversive activities in view of the looming security threats.

The police chief stated that the petition wasn’t based on facts and not maintainable in the present form. He said the petitioner had no cause of action.

The petition, filed by senior lawyer Muhammad Khurshid Khan, sought direction from the high court for the provincial government and the Police Department to either recruit police for ensuring peace and protection to the people or impose ban on provision of security to the VIPs.

“As per the information received from the provincial Police Department through the Right to Information Act, 2013, I am surprised to know that 5,500 policemen have been deployed for the security of VIPs in the province,” the petitioner pointed out.

He said it was a matter of concern that the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) claimed to have ended the VIP culture in the province, but it has still deployed 1,529 police personnel for VIPs security duty in Peshawar alone even though the police strength in the provincial capital is 6,200 only.