Punjab IG promises justice in Sahiwal tragedy

Claims to have made major progress in the murder of JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq


Saleh Mughal February 13, 2019
Claims to have made major progress in the murder of JUI-S chief Maulana Samiul Haq. PHOTO: EXPRESS

RAWALPINDI: While the Sahiwal tragedy had impacted the morale of police officers across Punjab, the chief officer of the force on Tuesday vowed that justice will be done in the case.

He further said that major progress had been made in the murder of senior cleric and JUI-S Chief Maulana Samiul Haq.

This was stated by Punjab Inspector General (IG) Amjad Javed Saleemi while addressing a passing out parade of 1,018 assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs) at the Police Training School in Rawat on Tuesday.

Amongst the officials who passed out on Tuesday, five held master’s degree, 70 had completed their graduation, 452 had passed intermediate, and 484 were matriculation holders. Moreover, 21 who passed out were Hafiz-e-Quran, while 72 children were of police officials and 11 children of police martyrs.

IGP Saleemi stated that the gap between the public and the police was too wide to fill it overnight. Despite that, the first step in that regard was for the police to improve their behaviour towards the public.

In this regard, the Punjab IGP said that they were focusing on the character-building and service delivery of officers in order to improve the standard of policing.

Stressing on the need to improve police training to deal with emerging threats, IGP Saleemi pointed out that too little is spent on the police in the province.

Annually, India spends Rs2,400 on a policeman whereas countries such as Malaysia, Turkey and Britain spend around Rs20,000-Rs28,000 ($150-$200) on a single policeman. By comparison, Pakistan spends merely Rs834 ($6).

He urged the government to increase the resources provided Punjab police as it was the root cause for a number of problems in the police force.

Moreover, he said that a force of just 225,000 officials was grossly insufficient to police a vast area such as Punjab where as many as 100 million people live.

Talking about the alarming increase in street crimes in Rawalpindi, the IG said that in many cases, youngsters robbed only Rs700. He lamented that the poor economic condition of the country was forcing useful human resource to become criminals and urged the government to take decisive steps to bring prosperity in the country.

Discussing the murder of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) chief Maulana Samiul Haq in Rawalpindi, Saleemi said that they have made major progress in this case with evidence uncovered by the forensic lab which will help probing other aspects of the murder.

On the declining morale of the police after the Sahiwal incident, The IG said that there was always a silver lining in such incidents and pledged, that the victims would be compensated while justice would be done. He urged police officers would refrain from such incidents.

Noting that their focus was on training the available force to the best of their capabilities, he said that new buildings will be built for police stations which are operating in dilapidated structures. Better facilities, he hoped, would help boost police morale.

He added that the Punjab Police had been linked to an electronic system whereby all police stations across the province will be computerized.

Moreover, police counters were being set up at Tehsil Headquarters hospitals like the police desks of the past.

IGP Saleemi also referred to his represent decision where SHOs across the province had been bound to hear public complaints for two hours every day in a session which was to be monitored centrally through closed-circuit cameras

This initiative, he claimed, had helped lower the rate of corruption and difficulties of the public, the latter who gained confidence that their grievances would be heard and resolved impartially.

At the end of the passing-out parade, the trained police personnel displayed their weapon handling, martial arts and shooting skills.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2019.

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