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Efforts on to launch ‘Promise of Peace’ project, says DIG Maqsood

Sindh Police Security Division chief Maqsood Ahmed Memon has said they are working hard on their project ‘Promise of Peace’ for the citizens of Sindh.

Talking to The News on Monday, DIG Memon said the concept of policing, which at the time of the establishment of police, was confined to the enforcement of law, had gradually evolved to incorporate community service as one of its basic functions. For this reason, he said, the motto of many police departments around the world was “to serve and to protect”.

Unfortunately, he added, this motto, which used to be an ingredient of policing in Pakistan, had blurred to a great extent due to spontaneous reprioritisation of responsibilities and shifting of focus mainly to crime and security in the wake of a rapidly changing law and order environment.

Over the years, DIG Memon said, this missing aspect of policing had contributed largely to the tarnished image of police in Pakistan, and the need for the restoration of the lost reputation had long been felt to make policing more effective and beneficial for client communities to the advantage of organisational goals.

Keeping the above in mind, the senior police officer has conceived and developed the idea of establishing community-based service. The ‘Promise of Peace’ project that provides service and protection simultaneously is the outcome of the efforts that the SSU, joined in 2012 by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Elite Police Training Centre, Razzakabad, Karachi, has put in over the last five years. The project has been designed to provide protective and facilitative services ensuring “help, facilitation, peace and security” to the citizens of Karachi through a variety of collaborative efforts. The guiding force behind the vision of this project was the long-existing community aspirations and self-motivation for betterment.

In realising the vision to a reality, the project has both the blessings and backing of a former president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, as well as the administrative and financial support of the government of Sindh.

With this background, the Special Security Unit (SSU) of the Sindh Police, is going to introduce its landmark ‘Promise of Peace’ project under Security Vision 2020 of the Sindh government.

As mentioned above, the ‘Promise of Peace’ seeks to extend services and protection through a set of five projects. The SSU with its status as a specialised security unit and the history of unprecedented achievements is playing the lead role as the foundation of two new projects under ‘Promise of Peace’ viz police emergency services and police facilitation centers (also called public help centers). The Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Elite Police Training Centre serves as working partner with the SSU for ‘Promise of Peace’ and is foundational platform for the Institute of Peace and Policing Studies, a counterterrorism institute with prospective up-gradation as a university.

Emergency Response Service

DIG Memon said the Police Emergency Service, which has been scheduled to be inaugurated shortly, will be a 24/7 helpline service. It will be an advanced version of the existing Madadgar-15 with upgraded infrastructure, resources and wider responsibilities.

While providing solution-oriented services to common citizens, public satisfaction will be its prime consideration. It will be configured to mobilise concerned resources in emergencies warranting response from police and other public service departments. Being a collaborative service, it seeks to take on all stakeholders from public service departments and welfare organisations and to link their resources with a single control room/helpline number for coordinated resource mobilisation and effective response essentially within five minutes of the receipt of call. The Quick Response Force of the SSU will also be at its disposal for emergencies.

Facilitation centres

DIG Memon said the police facilitation centres will provide diverse facilitative services and also help alleviate public dissatisfaction over police functioning. It will also be launched shortly as a 24/7 service.

The services offered by these centers will ensure solutions to various community problems under a single roof where public can have their issues addressed/resolved by dedicated staff in a professional manner without the need of visiting police stations.

Guidance, facilitation and legal counselling will also be provided at these centers by representatives and legal experts/advisers. The police facilitation centers, which will be launched at 10 different locations in Karachi, also require collaborative partnership with various stakeholders to ensure maximum community participation in managing its own issues.

IPPS

The Security Division DIG said that for over three decades, Pakistani law enforcement organisations have been in a constant state of war against terrorism and violent crimes.

In different phases, they have been dealing with improvised forms and intensity of terrorism, including sectarian, ethnic and political. However, despite having a resolute stance against terrorism and violent crimes, law enforcement organisations, including police, have been responding to them in a haphazard manner without knowing specifics of terrorism.

Resultantly, notwithstanding gigantic achievements against terrorist outfits, sporadic waves of terrorism continue to inflict scourge to Pakistani citizens and security officials. Keeping in mind the foregoing, evolving forms and trends of terrorism and experience of other countries, the idea of establishing a counterterrorism research and study institute with prospective upgradation as a degree-awarding university has been conceived.

The Institute of Peace and Policing Studies (prospective Counterterrorism University) will be the first of its kind in Pakistan. It will conduct courses on policing and terrorism along with effective countermeasures and techniques. Admissions to this institute will be open to both law enforcement personnel and civilians.

The civilian graduates of Counterterrorism University may be able to apply their gained knowledge while working for/in police department or in other fields with security related concerns.

The following websites will help you understand our efforts, mission and services we are currently providing to our client communities: www.promiseofpeace.gos.pk, www.ssusindhpolice.gos.pk, www.elitesindhpolice.gos.pk.