Under the directives of the government, the capital police have made a proposal to raise its Law and Order Division on the pattern of the Turkish Anti-Riot Force.
Sources in the interior ministry and police told Dawn that in 2019 the Law and Order Division was established in the capital police for the protection of foreigners, especially Chinese working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, and to maintain law and order in the city with a strength of over 3,000 personnel.At that time, it was decided that the force would be raised in four phases.
The sources said 437 officers/officials were to be recruited for the force in the financial year 2019-20, 1,015 in the financial year 2020-21, 967 in the financial year 2021-22 and 967 in the financial year 2022-23.
Now it has been decided that the division would be raised on the model of Turkey. The Anti-Riot Unit in Lahore has already followed the model of Turkey and got training from Turkish instructors.
The government directives were issued keeping in view the shortage of manpower in the capital police and frequent protest demonstrations and other law and order related incidents in the capital city.
To deal with the law and order incidents, officials are called from the police stations and other units, wings and divisions. This hampered other policing in the city. Besides, these officials are not trained to deal with such situations.
The capital police and administration also seek the assistance of paramilitary troops and police of other districts due to shortage of manpower and lack of specialisation to deal with such events, they added.As a result, the federal cabinet directed the interior division to look into the possibility of raising a riot police on the model of Turkey and come up with a comprehensive proposal for approval, the sources said.
Due to the urgency of the matter, the government directed the cabinet secretary to make a decision without waiting for the formal approval of the minutes by the prime minster.
In response, the inspector general of the police (IGP) Islamabad was asked to submit a proposal, they said. He was further asked to consult an officer attached with the National Police Bureau who had already done some work on it.
During an informal conversation with Dawn, IGP Islamabad Qazi Jamilur Rehman confirmed that the Law and Order Division of the capital police will be set up on the model of Turkey. The project also includes a training school for the officials to deal with riot and law and order situation, he added.
The capital police were established after the 1979 revolution in Iran when a massive law and order situation erupted in Rawalpindi, said the sources, adding the last recruitment in the capital police was made in 2005. Till 2019, as many as 1,200 seats in the police fell vacant due to retirement, resignation and death of officials.
In 2019, a summery was moved for the recruitment of 3,500 police officials which was approved. However, the inductions would be made in four different phases till 2024.
The officials of the new division will be trained on the patron of Turkish police and in this regard a school will also be established in the capital. The officials of the division will be equipped with anti-riot gear such as water cannons and armed personnel carriers. The project would cost about Rs1.5 billion.
The sources said officials of the Punjab police were paid Rs3,500 law and order allowance per month but there was no such allowance for the Islamabad police.