ISLAMABAD: The policemen-population ratio in Pakistan is most favourable, according to the new security policy document, but law and order situation continuously remains unsatisfactory and rather alarming in several parts.
The National Internal Security Policy (NISP) document says the ratio between the number of police officers assigned for population in rural and urban areas is most favourable in Pakistan. It is not very low, but the NISP says that in the 21st century, this is not the only yardstick to determine the human resource requirements of a modern police department in Pakistan.
The Police Rules 1934 describe no ratio of a certain figure of policemen for a specific number of people, but these do guide that in towns where the population exceeds 30,000, one constable is prescribed for every 450 citizens.
However, the NISP says, the situation on ground in Pakistan is most satisfactory in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) with one policeman for every 114 citizens followed by Balochistan where there is one cop for every 223 people.
In Gilgit-Baltistan, the ratio is 1:234; in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) 1:411; in Azad Kashmir 1:467; in Sindh 1:504 and Punjab 1:514.The NISP says the metamorphosis of crime accompanied by non-traditional challenges has prompted Law Enforcement Agencies (LAEs) to realign their preparation and posture accordingly.
In those parts of Pakistan which are less affected, the police have generally maintained the traditional model of policing. In KP and Balochistan, the police forces have gone into an operational mode with other important areas of police work being relegated to back seat.
Currently, police training in these provinces mostly revolves around the tactical sphere.The armed forces have been successful in ‘clearing’ the captured territories by the terrorists. The army met with serious resistance and has had to face losses. The military operations in Swat and South Waziristan have removed any doubts about the inability of terrorists to withstand a well-coordinated attack in open areas.
However, the armed forces’ capacity beyond ‘clear’ remains a major question mark. The security apparatus has been unable to demonstrate other capabilities essential to successful counter-insurgency: hold, build and integrate. For the latter three effective civilian follow up capacity is requested. Unfortunately, it has appeared inadequate so far.
The NISP says Pakistan has a large number of Civil Armed Forces (CAFs) as an intermediate arrangement between armed forces and police to complete the paradigm of increasing response to internal security threats as well force multiplier in case of external aggression. The CAFs are now operating under interior ministry with lead role like their present deployment in Karachi. They have specific capacity and dedicated resources and are following further capacity building, utilization of CAFs inclusively and efficiently becoming more important.
Deficiencies and weaknesses of police and CAFs have increased reliance on the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence. This has overburdened them and may reduce their efficiency and effectiveness for strategic national security issues.
Some part of their resources will remain committed to internal security but that should not be a substitute for the essential work of civilian intelligence agencies and LEAs. All have a significant role in the internal security and have functional autonomy within their own hierarchical structures. Capacity building of CAFs and other LEAs including Pakistan Customs and Airport Security Forces is an essential element of internal security.
The NISP document says traditionally CAFs are not trained and equipped to protracted action against the terrorists in addition to their border management duties. They have to play the role of second responders after police and the state relies on their capability. As last resort, under the Constitution the army can be called in support of the civilian authority, but practicing this excessively will be counterproductive. Rebuilding all the CAFs elements with a view to enhance their capacity to meet the current and future challenges of terrorism is a viable option. The CAFs are in the federal domain and can provide assistance to the provincial governments when required.
Source: The NEWS