Why KP police are in the crosshairs of terrorists’ guns?
The million-dollar question in the past one to two years has been why the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police were being targeted by terrorists. And just to bring in your knowledge since the end of a shaky ceasefire agreed with the outlawed TTP, the number of deadly attacks on the provincial police has increased.
Asma Shirazi asked this question on her show Faisla Aap Ka to Moazzam Jah Ansari, the KP Police inspector general, on Thursday. She started by speaking about the mosque blast in Peshawar’s highly fortified area and Ansari’s presser earlier in the day.
“Militants target police as they are a soft and a prime target,” Ansari said and explained that policemen were easily identifiable because of their rank, uniform, and mobile van.
Just as he spoke with Aaj News, the police had two gun battles with terrorists in Charsadda in the last one hour. At least one terrorist was “eliminated” and another was arrested. Similarly, an operation was under way in another area of the province where a militant is so far said to be killed.
The KP IG, who has a list of 2,000 martyred policemen in his office, that terrorists do not lose an opportunity to attack them. The KP police were owned by the locals, he added.
He went on to add that police, which are known as the symbol of law enforcement, were attacked in order to eliminate and demoralise them. Moreover, terrorists wanted to “maintain writ” by prompting police to withdraw from their stations, protest, and leave the people defenceless.
“But the police is standing and the people are protected.”
Ansari claimed that such attacks were planned, however, the police have repulsed them or tracked and traced them. He shared bits of talking points with his men that is: “We are in a state of war and in this war both sides have losses. Since we have gone to fight this war, we only have to only fight to win despite worrying about the losses.”
At least 101 people were killed and over 150 injured when a suicide bomber in police uniform blew himself up while standing for prayers along with other worshippers inside a mosque in the highly fortified area of Peshawar on January 31.
When asked about any apparent security lapse in the Peshawar suicide bombing, he said the personnel at the checkpoint might not have checked the attacker because of “brotherhood or fraternity”. But, the police have decided to review the security without any compromise for any high officials.
He did not rule out the possibility of inside support as the department was trying to trace the support network. “There is indoctrination. So, you cannot rule out extremist mindset,” Ansari added and gave examples of militants with their origin in the West.
The KP police IG vowed to not spare any effort to track and trace terrorists.
Ansari did not comment on any “soft corner” being given to troublemakers for regrouping after coming from Aghanistan as it was not his “mandate”. He maintained the department was an employee of the state irrespective of the government in power.
“After Aug 15, 2021, with the change of government, many militants came here [apparently from Afghanistan]. They have nexus with criminals. There were some downtrodden people who found this new power and authority to threaten people.”
The KP province has seen an uptick in extortion in one year. Ninety-nine per cent of calls were coming from Afghani WhatsApp numbers used in all such calls, however, the police don’t have the service to trace it as the government does not have a mutual agreement to track it.
But, now the police have made a request for it to the government.
“At least 81 terrorist networks or extortion callers were arrested in last year. They are being prosecuted,” he said, adding that probably more than one government has to extend to tame this crime.
The long-due Safe City project, which was delayed due to hiccups, might receive a green signal this year. “We have started to re-launch it again and we have signed the feasibility and consultants porgramme. Hopefully, the first camera will be installed in April or June. We will be able to complete the first phase.”
Ansari, who commands a force of 130,000, praised the martyrs of the police for their service
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