The Abbottabad division police will have a horse-mounted squad to access mountainous areas where there are no roads, said the newly posted Hazara division Regional Police Officer (RPO) Hazara Mir Vais Niaz while talking to the media people on Tuesday.
The mounted police will be available for quick response in areas inaccessible by police vehicles and also patrol for patrolling the rugged terrain, he said.
Police on horses are nothing new in the area, law enforcers traversed the mountainous passes on mules and horses. However, urbanization ended the practice and the mounties were left only for the ceremonial guard and parade duties, he said.
The remote areas of the Hazara division, especially in Kohistan where the road network did not exist need such a force.
The new police chief of the Hazara division said his top priorities would be to take action against drug dealers and land grabbers, and make all efforts to save children from harassment and abuse.
The vulnerable sections of the society need protection, he said, adding that civil society, religious scholars and the media should play their role in creating awareness against sexual exploitation of children which was rampant in the region.
Briefing the journalists at his office, DIG Niaz said he has directed District Police Officers of the Hazara division to launch a crackdown against drug peddlers particularly those selling methamphetamine, commonly known as ice.
Better strategies should be adopted to protect youth from substance abuse as well as to rid society of this poison and to take legal action against drug peddlers and smugglers without any discrimination, the RPO said.
Another social evil rampant in the region is usury. People get trapped in the vicious claws of the money lenders then spend a lifetime trying to wriggle out of the debt trap he said. The Hazara division police have been directed to identify people running private lending services and arrest them under the Prohibition of Interest on Private Loans Act, 2016.
DIG Niaz said he has directed all the DPOs of Hazara to take legal action against land grabbers who get the benefit of the poor land record system.
The poor condition of the roads has made traffic jams the biggest problem of Abbottabad city. The city is a hub of tourism, he said and added that people going to Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan pass through here. The dug up roads create traffic chaos.
The divisional police chief said the interchanges coming out of Hazara Expressway are also not meeting the needs of the citizens due to which the traffic police become helpless. Traffic jams have also become a normal issue due to construction work on the Karakoram Highway, which is causing severe problems for the commuters. “We are implementing an integrated system for solving traffic problems in which schoolchildren will play an important role and at the same time people will be informed through radio.”
Replying to a query, he said that the provincial government is considering the establishment of new police stations. The K-P home department has recommended that owing to the increase in population, the number of police stations should also be increased.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2021.
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