Militants are on the defensive, says KP inspector general of police
PESHAWAR -- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Inspector General of Police (IGP) Salahuddin Khan Mehsud credits effective counter-terrorism operations carried out by the army and police for "significantly improving" law and order all over Pakistan.
"Apart from operations by the Pakistani army, the actions by KP Police in the settled areas of the country helped improve law and order," he told Pakistan Forward during an interview at his office in Peshawar August 9.
Security forces are continuing efforts to go after the remaining terrorist groups in KP, he said.
The IGP especially appreciated the efforts of the KP Police Counter Terrorism Department (CTD), saying it arrested more than 1,300 most wanted terrorist suspects accused of affiliation with various groups.
"The more than 1,300 militants held since September 2014 include members of almost all the terrorist groups operating in Pakistan from within the country or launched from across the border," said Mehsud, who took charge of KP Police in March after leading the CTD for over two years.
Many commanders of various terrorist groups have been killed in shootouts in police in Peshawar, Charsadda, Mardan and other districts of the province, he said.
"We have accelerated search and strike operations after recent terrorist incidents in different cities in Pakistan, and police have orders to keep a special check on unregistered tenants and to improve security in public places and sensitive installations," he said.
This year, major terrorist groups that attacked police and other security forces in Peshawar and Mardan have been eliminated from KP, Mehsud said.
"Some of our brave men sacrificed their lives during these operations, but we did not allow the terrorists to recoup and carry out attacks," he said, adding that 1,261 KP policemen have sacrificed their lives for the country during the past 11 years.
Improved training and facilities
Modern technology and improved training have boosted KP Police's ability to fight terrorism and crime, said Mehsud.
"We improved the capacity of KP Police to fight terrorism and crime by imparting better training through the specialised [police] schools, raising specialised units, using technology, making more effective laws, [implementing] structural reforms and improving public service delivery," he said.
"The specialised schools all over the province improved their training in investigation, intelligence, tactics and explosives handling," Mehsud said.
"We improved and revamped the Forensic Science Laboratory [in Peshawar] to expedite the scientific examination of evidence collected from the scene of terrorist attacks or criminal incidents," he said. "Now we have no pending cases at the laboratory."
Public service and accountability
Apart from fighting terror and crime, KP Police has also improved its image within the public through better public service delivery, according to Mehsud.
"The Dispute Resolution Councils set up in all the districts have resolved thousands of cases through alternative dispute resolution, while the police access service has enabled the public to complain directly to the IGP in case of any negligence, corruption or any other wrongdoing by a police officer," he said.
"Under the KP Police Act 2017, which was passed in January, police have an effective accountability system through elected bodies at the provincial and district levels," he said, adding that KP Police also has an internal accountability system to ensure immediate action "against any corrupt or ineffective officer".
Public safety commissions at the provincial and district levels and a regional complaint authority at the divisional level are being constituted to monitor the performance of police, added the IGP.
"Apart from the accountability system, we have rewards and awards for policemen who perform well against terrorists and criminals," Mehsud said.