Although they have already won various accolades for their bravery and performance, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police have had various issues covering the region under their law enforcement jurisdiction. When Pakistan’s Tehreek E Insaf (PT) government came to power in the province in 2013, the department was subjected to various operational experiments in the name of reforms, most of which appear to have been limited to mentions on social media and in departmental records. .
The real change came at the hands of former Inspector General (IG) Nasir Khan Durrani, who amended the Police Act to restructure the KP Police. Following Khan’s amendment, a bomb disposal unit was established and police training schools were started across the province to train officials in modern investigative methods. However, it appears that in the eight years since then, police investigations have not been able to find any significant improvement, as evidenced by the hundreds of cases that have been pending for several years in the province; due to poor investigation, untrained staff and inattentive service managers.
In 2013, the KP government decided to launch a project called Safe City Peshawar, to fight crime and terrorism in the provincial capital. Through this project, the police aimed to improve security by installing more than 5,000 CCTV cameras, establishing modern control rooms and activating various patrol units and police stations in the city. However, due to the increase in population in Peshawar, the project has been suspended in an administrative vacuum for almost a decade. While Safe City Lahore Police delegations held several meetings with KP Police on this mega project but no progress could be made.
In addition to this, in 2019, it was announced that approximately 28,000 Levies and Khasadar Force personnel would be part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police Force. An official notification in this regard has also been issued, but despite the passage of three years since then, the police stationed in the tribal sectors of the province are said to find it difficult to carry out investigations and launch FIRs due to a lack of understanding of the legal process.
Furthermore, the police officials in the tribal areas have also been unable to set foot in their respective jurisdiction territory for the past few years. According to a police officer, who has served for more than 12 months as a DPO in a tribal district, the tribal police lack authority and seniority in the area. “In Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, North Waziristan and South Waziristan, we have no officers above DSP rank.
There are only 16 DSPs in the force of thousands while a proper service structure is also lacking. Even though policing was accepted by the tribal people in the FATA of old, the police personnel did not receive competent salaries, martyr’s packages or a proper promotion system due to which the force of tribal police are still wavering,” he argued.
Khasadar officer Khasta Gul, who has been with the force in the Mohmand tribal district for eight years, said he joined the force under the previous system in which he used to receive his salaries on time .
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4e2022.