PESHAWAR: Imran Khan has called upon the federal government to equip the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) police with tools to gather intelligence in order to effectively counter terrorism.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman was addressing a press conference in the provincial capital of Peshawar on Monday. Terming terrorism as Pakistan's national issue, Imran said KP was on the frontline in combating the scourge.
The PTI chairman demanded the Nawaz-led government at the centre to deploy Frontier Constabulary (FC) forces in the province. “We demand the government to ensure FC deployment on its original positions — which were to protect the KP province from unrest in the tribal areas,” Imran told reporters.
Though the PTI chairman commended the efforts of the police, he said it was not the job of the police to combat terrorism.
“Police are not trained for this,” he said.
Imran put forward three solutions to be implemented on immediate basis to minimise terrorism: KP police to be provided with interceptors to trace telephone calls, all SIMs which are not registered on the user’s identity to be declared illegal and to start integrating Fata into the national mainstream.
The PTI chairman also requested the centre to financially help the KP government to look after the needs of displaced persons. “Most of the IDPs are settled in Bannu, making its population almost double...that is putting all the pressure on the provincial government,” he said.
“There is no certainty as to when they will be resettled to their hometowns, and the KP government has to facilitate their needs. The KP government is already overstretched financially with more than 70 per cent of the industries non-functional in the province,” he added.
The cricketer-turned-politician said all stakeholders need to sit together and devise strategy to absorb the tribal areas into Pakistan. “This could be initiated by hiring its youth in the police department,” Imran said, adding that he was requesting the centre to hire 5,000 policemen from Fata and bringing them into the KP government's domain.
For a long-term solution to establish peace in the restive tribal areas, he said the government must ensure regulation of refugees coming in from Afghanistan.
“On an average, 500 visas are issued on the border when it is a well-known fact that around 15,000 to 20,000 people penetrate into Pakistan’s tribal areas and nobody knows where they go,” the PTI chairman said.
“We need to fix border control, even if we have to give more visas. We need to stop this unregulated movement,” he added.
The PTI chairman also talked about security measures the KP government has been considering once schools in the province reopen.
“IG KP police is working on introducing a system to alert security forces of any terrorist activity by simply dialing a number,” he said. “We are hoping to launch it before the reopening of schools in the province.”
Imran reiterated that the KP government's demand of terrorism-combating equipment was not new and that the province had requested for it in July 2013 as well.
Explore: Security threat