In a rare show of initiative to fight for their rights, candidates selected on merit for the city police challenged a “ban” on new recruitments by the interior ministry.
It took them over two years to finally make it to the Islamabad Police as assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs) and constables after the Islamabad High Court directed the police in June to appoint them. The ministry had imposed the ban two years ago after it failed to convince senior police officers to induct political appointees.
Of the 485 constables and 111 ASIs who were selected, 250 constables and 80 ASIs have already reported to Police Lines Headquarters. “More are coming; a few would have lost patience after two years of waiting,” said a police officer.
Police officers involved in the selection process say the candidates were selected on merit, the very reason why the recruitment was banned. “It is a victory for all those who wanted to recruit policemen on merit and stood up to the pressure,” said the police official.
While the new appointments have boosted the strength of Islamabad Police, most have them have been deployed on security duty without training. Sources in the police said the constables and some ASIs who joined after Ramazan were deployed on security duty at mosques for Friday and Tarawih prayers. They were not given firearms, though.
A police official said the recruits have been put on security duty because “they can not be left idle till their training begins”. Most of the ASIs will be also made part of criminal investigations as they are “well qualified”, with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, the official added.
The Islamabad police received over 70,000 applications from across the country for a few hundred posts. Written tests and interviews were conducted in January 2010, after which the selection committee finalised the list of successful candidates. The interior ministry banned recruitments in 2010, after appointment letters were issued by the police. The ministry wanted the police to accommodate its nominees.
The police command under former Islamabad inspector general Kaleem Imam, however, took a stand, resulting in the ban on recruitments.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2012.