PESHAWAR / SWABI / MIRAN SHAH: The province has moved closer to setting up a police force in the erstwhile tribal areas after the provincial government transferred seven senior police officers to the merged tribal districts.
However, a former police officer said that the province lacks sufficient officers to ensure effective policing in the tribal districts.
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government over the weekend issued a notification through which the services of senior police officer Pir Shahab Ali Shah, who previously served as the Hangu district police officer (DPO) was transferred to Bajaur as the DPO there.
The March 29 notification transferred Abdur Rasheed, who was awaiting posting and appointed him as the DPO of Mohmand. K-P Elite Force Deputy Commandant Muhammad Hussain was transferred to the volatile Khyber tribal district.
Acting Kohat Additional SP Salauddin was posted to the Orakzai tribal district as DPO, while Peshawar Campus Police Commandant Rahim Shah has been transferred to Kurram tribal district as the DPO. Kifayatullah has been transferred from Bannu to North Waziristan and K-P Operations AIG Attiqullah Wazir has been transferred to South Waziristan.
Meanwhile, a retired police officer has told The Express Tribune that K-P does not have enough police officers to serve in the merged districts. Moreover, he said that the tribes living in these districts will never tolerate the presence of police as long as the Khasadar and Levies forces are there.
On Sunday, rumours surfaced which claimed that a notification from K-P Inspector General of Police Dr Naeem Khan about the postings and transfers had been cancelled.
However, the K-P Police media liaison officer later refuted the rumours, stating that the notification had not been not issued from IGP’s office hence the office could not revoke it.
It is pertinent to mention here that Khasadars and levies of the tribal areas have held several protests in different tribal districts against the appointment of police officers from the settled areas instead of regularising them.
Interprovincial bike thieves arrested in Swabi
The Swabi district administration claimed Sunday to have arrested two suspected inter-provincial motorbike thieves from the remits of the Yar Hussain police station and recovered seven stolen motorcycle and other items from their custody.
DSP Muhammad Iqbal said that Yar Hussain Station House Officer Niaz Khan received information about a presence of a bike lifting gang who used to steal vehicles from different parts of Punjab and used sell them in K-P and vice versa.
Based on the tip-off, the Yar Hussain police raided a suspected hideout and arrested Numan alias Topak and Asif. Their alleged accomplice Riaz managed to flee. During the raid, they also recovered seven stolen motorbikes.
SHO Niaz told the media that this was the biggest recovery of stolen motorbikes in the district, while they had also recovered other stolen items from their possession.
It is pertinent to mention here that incidents of bike theft have been on the up in the district recently.
Local residents have urged the administration of the tribal district to take action against the extortion by some miscreants along the Miran Shah Road.
Locals said that a few gunmen have established two points on the road near the Pak-Afghan border since January and they extort travellers on the road. A local driver told The Express Tribune that gunmen charge Rs300 from every local vehicle and Rs1,000 from Afghan drivers.
“We have protested several times against the unlawful extortion from drivers, but the district administration have turned deaf on our calls,” said Bannu resident Shabbir Wazir told The Express Tribune, adding that he travels daily to and from Bannu to the Afghan border.
District Administration official Abdul Nasir said that no one has registered any such complaint with them thus far, either verbally or in a written application.
However, locals said that if an issue was there, the district commissioner (erstwhile political agent) should have taken personal action rather than to wait for the public to file complaints. They also demanded the Peshawar High Court take action against gunmen in the area.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2019.