QUETTA: A total of 119 people — including 15 police personnel — were killed and 114 injured in terrorism-related incidents in Balochistan during 2018.
Twenty-five terrorists were also killed in encounters and 55 arrested in 1,245 intelligence-based operations (IBOs) in the province.
Inspector General of Police Mohsin Butt disclosed this while briefing reporters at his office on Friday.
He said that 1,245 IBOs and 1,869 combing operations were conducted under the National Action Plan across Balochistan in 2018 in which 55 terrorists were killed and 4,188 absconders and 5,449 accused were arrested. They belonged to 22 militant groups.
He said that another 898 suspects had been arrested during IBO operations.
IG Butt said that besides seizure of 21,103 weapons, 2,536kgs of narcotics were also recovered. He added that a total of 8,755 incidents of crimes — including 42 sabotage activities, 34 targeted killings and 11 sectarian killings — were reported in 2018 as compared to 9,490 in 2017.
He said the Balochistan police had started implementing recommendations of the Law and Justice Commission, headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, from Jan 8 to hold police accountable and redress public complaints.
He said the commission’s report would be formally launched on Jan 14 at the Islamabad High Court.
“The purpose of this exercise is to restore the trust of the public in the police force and bridge the gap between them, besides making police forces accountable so that overall improvement could be made in their capability,” IG Butt told reporters.
In the recommendations, he said, there was an emphasis on redressing of complaints against police personnel such as delay in registration of FIRs — especially in criminal cases — or delay in arrest of accused in these FIRs.
He said separate cells had been established in all 33 districts of Balochistan. These cells would be equipped with all facilities, including internet, computers and phones, to receive public complaints via email. He said the complainants would receive feedback about their complaints at each stage.
In reply to a question, IG Butt said that 1,800 more recruitments would be made in the police force and 1,000 of them had been sent to Sindh for basic training, while the remaining 800 would be trained in Balochistan. He said there was sharp decline in crime and terrorist activities in Quetta due to deployment of the newly-introduced Eagle squad comprising 800 personnel.
He said the strength of the anti-terrorist force (ATF) would be increased to 2,000 in the province. Presently, the number of ATF personnel is around 850.
Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2019