KARACHI: The Karachi division of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has taken upon itself to put an end to the special security provisions given to the 'VIPs' by launching a campaign. The party plans to organise seminars to make public aware of the expenses incurred on this culture.
Calling for an immediate end to VIP security culture, PTI Karachi demanded that these police officers should be there to protect the life and property of all the residents of Karachi, not just a select few.
In a media talk held on Friday, PTI Karachi chapter president Ali Zaidi referred to a recent report, which stated that 155 police mobile vans and 4,000 Sindh police personnel were performing security duties for the VIPs and were guarding their residences even when these VIPs were travelling abroad. According to a report released by Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat), the total police force of Karachi is 26,504 officers - a ratio of one police officer to 850 residents. This ratio is pathetic when compared to Lahore, which stands at one to 335, and New Delhi, which is at one to 290.
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"We demand that VIP security duty should be ended or, at least, as per our proposal in our pre-budget press conference last month, it should be paid for by the ones receiving this service and not the taxpayers of this province," said Zaidi. "Given the precarious security situation in Karachi, maximum police personnel are required to protect the lives and property of all citizens, not just the elite."
The information secretary of the PTI Karachi chapter, Dawa Khan Sabir, said the party will hold seminars and dialogue with the public to apprise them about where their tax money is going. He said the party is also planning strategies to put the government under pressure. "Karachi already lacks trained police personnel as per international standards, which is why the amount of crime in the city is so high," he said.
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The campaign against the VIP security will start after Eid. Sabir also suggested the government to make a separate division in the police department that will only look after the security of the VIPs. "In this way, we can check the expense on VIP security," he said. "The separate division will only look after the VIPs, allowing other divisions to be more effective [for the people]."
Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2015.