The police are planning to introduce arbitration committees in Peshawar district to decrease the role of armed peace militias through negotiations.
The role of the new committees will be to resolve minor disputes filed at police stations and courts. The committees and elders will provide the people with an opportunity to sort out their problems in a local jirga. On the status of peace militias, the police maintained that peace militias were created in the district at a time when resources were limited and underequipped and no other alternative was available.
However, in the past few years, the number of police personnel has doubled. They have also been provided with new firearms and vehicles, among other resources.
SSP Tahir Ayub said the police are now capable of fighting the militancy and that the active role of peace militias in combat situations needed to be changed.
“Some peace militia members have taken questionable actions. It is crucial that their role in the area needs to be revised in light of new developments regarding the police force,” he said.
He reiterated said that the police are equipped to fight this war. “What we want from the militias is for them to gather information and share it with us — nothing else,” he said. SSP Ayub also said that the new committees would be formed at union council or village level.
CCPO Imtiaz Altaf has finalised a plan to introduce committees similar to those that already exist in Nowshera, Mardan and Swabi to Peshawar.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2012.
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