ISLAMABAD : The apex court was shocked on Friday when a senior policeman informed it that a serious sectarian division exists within the police force in the Khyber-Pakhtunkwa’s Dera Ismail Khan district.
Dera Ismail Khan district police officer (DPO) told this to the Supreme Court two-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar, hearing a suo motu case regarding sectarian targeted killings in Dera Ismail Khan.
During the hearing on Friday, the DPO said history of sectarian violence in the area dates back to 1985. “A number of police officials in the district have sympathy with rival sects and are thus divided along sectarian lines,” he told the court.
The CJP, who took notice of the killings on recommendation of an SC judge from the DI Khan, was shocked by the revelations and expressed serious concern over the ongoing sectarian targeted killings. He also sought reply from K-P government over the violence and asked how this issue could be resolved.
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The DPO said police officials who had sympathies with a particular sect were being transferred and the counter terrorism department (CTD) is also being strengthened. He also claimed that sectarian incidents had decreased in ongoing year.
However, Wusatul Hasan Advocate said the police had completely failed in maintaining law and order in the district, adding that some 400 people had died in targeted killing incidents in the last five years but no murderer had so far been arrested.
Another lawyer said senior police officers are safe as they live in cantonment areas but common policemen are dying. He proposed that paramilitary Rangers should be deployed along with police in the district to overcome the situation.
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The CJP remarked that it is a policy matter and the apex court cannot get involved in this matter. The bench, however, sought a reply with regard to deployment of Rangers along with police before adjourning the hearing for an indefinite period.
Later, a senior official told The Express Tribune that there is a need to improve coordination between civil and military forces for peace in the district.
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