Scores of police officials in Quetta are deputed as security guards for VIPs of the province, further reducing the already diminished strength of the police forces in the densely populated Quetta valley.
As many as 835 out of 5,000 total police forces in the provincial capital are deputed as security guards to some 300 Members of National and Provincial Assemblies and other VIPs. This serves as a likely reason for the poor law and order situation in the province.
It is estimated that Quetta caters to a population of over 2.5 million and also has a daily inflow of people who come to earn their livelihood from nearby districts such as Mastung, Pishin and Qila Abdullah.
Police officials claimed that it has become difficult to patrol in Quetta and maintain law and order since a significant number of head constables, constables and ASI serve as security guards to provincial ministers and MPAs. “Police already lack the required strength to ensure protection of the huge population,” an official said.
Official documents revealed that 39 police personnel are deputed as security guards for Home Minister Mir Zafarullah Zehri, 20 police personnel for Provincial Minister for Fisheries Hamal Kalmati, 12 for senior Minister Maulana Abdul Wassay and some other MPAs and MNAs have 9 to 10 security guards while secretaries and other important personalities also have two to three police constables.
According to Home Department sources, government call personnel of Balochistan Levies and police from other districts during occasions of Eid, Muharram and other important events in order to maintain law and order. “Many politicians also submitted applications demanding protection,” an official in the Home Department said. It is pertinent to mention that target killings, explosions and kidnappings are common in the provincial capital where top police officers, educationists and ministers are also being targeted.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2012.
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