To counter the growing threats of terrorism in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), intelligence sharing will be increased in the region. This was stated by G-B’s new police chief, Wazir Muhammad Ali Khan, during an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune here on Wednesday.
“The role of intelligence agencies is very important and we are trying to expand it in order to become aware of threats beforehand,” said Khan. “This has become all the more important following the recent bomb attack on a passenger van in Gilgit,” he added.
Khan took charge as Inspector General of Police (IGP) after the former IGP, Hussain Asghar, was suspended earlier this month on the Supreme Court’s orders and sent back to Islamabad.
Khan said that in the recent past police foiled several criminal plots due to timely sharing of intelligence.
“Just two days back, we intercepted a communication and arrested a group that was planning to carry out a major activity in Skardu,” he said, without divulging further details.
The surrender of some religious leaders accused of assisting sectarian fanatics is another example, he added.
About the growing threats of terrorism, Khan said the rate of warnings issued by the Interior Ministry has increased over the months, prompting police to remain on high alert round-the-clock. He said the ministry keeps on sending cautions about looming threats to personalities and government installations in the region, which is already low on police strength. Currently in G-B, there are a total of 5,500 police staff deputed, including drivers and cooks, Khan stated.
On a question about the allegiance of police officials to their respective sects, Khan said that the performance of the police forces has been appreciated widely by all sects during the recent past and hoped that “the good work” will continue in the coming days.
Khan added that the role of the bomb disposal squad is integral and it needs to be made more effective and ever-ready to deal with eventualities.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.
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