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January 15, 2020

New IGP faces challenge of introducing policing in merged districts


January 15, 2020

PESHAWAR: The incumbent Inspector General of Police (IGP), Sanaullah Abbasi, will be the fourth police chief if he faced resistance in the introduction of the police system in the merged districts that is similar to the one being in vogue in the settled districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Apart from introducing a proper police setup in the erstwhile Fata, going after various mafias in the province as well as the corrupt officials within the force are some of the tough challenges that the new IGP is going to face in coming days.

It remains to be seen whether Abbasi would succeed in setting up a proper police force in the erstwhile Fata or he too is going to face problems like his predecessors in induction of the Levies and Khassadars into the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police and set up an independent police force.

Before Abbasi, Mohammad Tahir, Salahuddin Khan Mahsud and Mohammad Naeem Khan had to face tough resistance while introducing a police system in the merged districts. Some of these police chiefs openly refused to accept a hybrid police system in the tribal districts.

Thousands of Levies and Khassadar personnel in the merged districts as well as the Frontier Regions are still uncertain about their future as they are yet to be considered a full-fledged part of the force, a source said.

The source added that the Levies and Khassadars recently held a meeting in Khyber district where they demanded induction in the KP Police and the incentives and salaries being drawn by the cops. The process of introduction of police system in the erstwhile Fata started in 2018.

In several districts, people took to the streets against the police force and even attacked the officers who went to the erstwhile Fata for assessment. The situation improved to some extent after the apex court ordered the introduction of the police system in merged districts.

The district police officers were appointed in the merged districts in March last year while seniors among the Khassadars and Levies personnel were posted as DSPs, inspectors and sub-inspectors. However, there is still a long way to introduce the police system in these districts because of wrangling among different departments.

Besides, the new IGP needs to accelerate the campaign against the mafias. The force has launched an aggressive campaign against mafias involved in selling "ice" (Methamphetamine) and other drugs, land grabbing, usury and extortion a couple of months back.

Over 900 suspects have been rounded up so far while list of over 1895 has been compiled to go after them.

The actions against these mafias need to be accelerated to take action against those who have occupied land of hundreds of families or who are ruining the lives of the youth by selling drugs in urban, suburban and rural areas of the province.

A challenge is to stop the flow of drugs from some of the merged districts where drugs sellers are said to have dens and smuggle "ice", heroin and hashish from there to down country.

Posting on merit, taking stern actions against the corrupt officials and rewarding those performing well will also improve the performance of the force that has sacrificed the most in the recent years.

The new police chief can also play an important role in strengthening the dispute resolution councils to settle hundreds of blood feuds and enmities across the province that are claiming several lives every day.