PESHAWAR -- Peshawar police are publishing photographs of thousands of terrorist suspects and other fugitives online in an effort to help the public spot offenders and alert law enforcement officers.
"We have placed the photos and details of over 3,000 criminals including terrorists, extortionists, murderers and others involved in heinous offences on our website for the awareness of the public," said Peshawar Capital City Police Officer Karim Khan.
Many of those on the wanted list have been charged with various types of terrorist crimes including bombings, attacks on police and other security personnel, targeted killings and extortion.
"With the pictures and details of their cases uploaded on the website, the residents of their area will know these people are involved in terrorist activities and will also help the force arrest them," Khan said.
Besides terror suspects, a large number of other fugitives wanted in connection to charges of drug trafficking, murder, sexual assault, paedophilia, and other major offences appear on the site (www.peshawarpolice.gov.pk). Police posted the fugitives' photographs and other details.
The website has a complaint section, police assistance phone lines, Dispute Resolution Councils and other facilities offered by the police force.
"Anyone having any kind of complaint regarding police can send a text or email to the addresses given on the website to access senior police officers who respond within no time," Khan said.
Photos attract international attention
Police officials are encouraged by the public's response to the website, which was launched in the first week of October.
"During the first three weeks, the website received 560,210 visits, with tens of thousands from abroad," Khan said.
Police did not explain why the website is attracting visitors from other countries, but they could be Pakistanis living abroad.
"The website received 436,362 visits from Pakistan, followed by 81,116 from the US, 22,040 from Hungary and 4,793 from Saudi Arabia in the first three weeks," said Mohammad Ilyas, a spokesman for the Peshawar police.
In addition, 3,531 visits came from the United Arab Emirates and 3,320 from the United Kingdom.
"The website is helping a large number of people in the province and rest of the country to know those who are wanted for terrorist attacks and common crimes," Ilyas said.
The public appreciates the move to publish the photos, he said.
"This will not only help the public keep a safe distance from them, but it also will help police get their hands on them," said Abdul Wahab, a resident of a Peshawar suburb.
Law abiding citizens should socially boycott those charged with crimes, he said.
"Many criminals change their residence after jail, but their photos and details will let others know about their past and they will stay away from them," Wahab said.
Most-wanted terrorist suspects
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government, meanwhile, has published a new list of 186 most-wanted terrorist suspects in local newspapers to seek help from the public in arresting them.
The government previously announced reward money for information leading to the arrest of these fugitives.
"A number of the most-wanted terrorists have been arrested with the help of the public in the last few years," said a KP Police official who requested anonymity.
The government and the police do not disclose the names of those who receive reward money for providing information regarding the terrorists, he said.
The suspects come from throughout KP, including Swabi, Peshawar, Bannu, Mardan and a multitude of other districts.
The amount of reward money ranges from Rs. 500,000 ($3,200) to Rs. 5 million ($32,000).
Akhtar Muhammad of Bannu, Muhammad Ilyas of Dera Ismail Khan, Saidul Akbar and Faiz Muhammad of Swabi, Sajjad (alias Dr. Talha) and Said Ali Shah of Dir carry the highest reward at Rs. 5 million each.