In an effort to rein in lawlessness in Balochistan, the government has decided to revamp the entire structure of all law enforcement agencies active in the province while planning to double personnel strength to meet security challenges.
“The prime minister has put the issue of Balochistan security on his top most priority,” Nawaz Sharif’s political secretary Asif Kirmani told The Express Tribune.
In his directives, issued through Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Nawaz has asked the corps commandant Frontier Corps, inspector general of police and the chief secretary of Balochistan to come up with solid recommendations meant to rid the troubled province of militancy and sectarianism.
“The federal government sought our recommendations on how to revamp the entire police system in the province,” confirmed Inspector General Police Balochistan Mushtaq Sukhaira on Monday.
Sukhaira said that among drastic changes to the structure of policing in the province, his department would also try and convince the federal government to equip the force with latest weaponry to tackle militancy.
Nawaz, in his latest directive, wishes to upgrade the overall structure of police and other paramilitary forces, particularly the Frontier Corps, Anti Terrorist Force and Balochistan Levis, in an attempt to defeat militants active in volatile areas of the province.
The fresh attempt to revamp the law enforcement system in the province will ensure controlling militancy by establishing a mechanism under which all agencies will operate under the political government, observed Kirmani. The same had been conveyed to Chief Minister Baluchistan Dr Abdul Malik Baloch by the prime minister last week, he added.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Balochistan chief minister have already discussed the matter related to police restructuring. According to reports, they have also held detailed discussions on the national security policy to be presented in the All Parties Conference likely to be held soon. During deliberations, Nisar has assured the chief minister that the new policy will focus particularly on the Baluchistan issue.
In its preliminary findings the Balochistan Home Department has recommended an increase of 15,000 to 20,000 new personnel in police, 10,000 to 15,000 in Levies force personnel and similarly 15,000 to 20,000 in the Frontier Corps, a senior Balochistan police official confided in The Express Tribune.
Currently, the Balochistan police and constabulary comprises about 35,000 personnel. Resultantly, only five to ten per cent of the provincial territory is controlled by the police while the current strength of approximately 20,000 Levies operates in B areas—rural areas of the province. The Levies police some 95 percent of the province, said the official.
The Frontier Corps (FC), the security force deployed in the province, has been struggling to maintain peace in unstable areas particularly those affected by ethnic violence. The strength of FC currently stands at about 50,000 personnel and the agency is headed by the military in the province.
The official said that under the plan, only a substantial increase in law enforcement personnel could control the security situation in the province and discourage separatists.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2013.