ISLAMABAD: A new division of more than 3,000 personnel is being set up in the Islamabad police that will be responsibility for handling public demonstrations and the protection of foreigners – particularly Chinese nationals working on China Pakistan Economic Corridor projects – in the city.

There are currently four police divisions: operations, security, traffic and logistics. Police officers said that the new division is being established as part of the reorganisation of the capital’s police force.

The Law and Order division will comprise two units, a Law and Order Unit and a Special Protection Unit (SPU), officer said. The former will act against sit-ins, protest and other forms of agitation while the SPU will provide security to foreigners. Around 1,000 personnel will work in the SPU, and the remainder in the Law and Order Unit.

More than 3,000 personnel will be appointed in four phases to the capital police’s law and order, special protection units

This force will be raised in four phases, with a deputy inspector general of police (law and order) (DIG), a senior superintendent of police (law and order) (SSP) and an SSP (SPU), a superintendent of police (law and order) (SP), two deputy superintendents of police (SPU) (DSP) and one DSP (law and order).

It will have 45 inspectors, 85 sub-inspectors, 170 assistant sub-inspectors, 340 head constables and 2,620 constables, they added. In addition, 114 ministerial staff will be recruited.

A total of 437 officers and officials will be recruited in the 2019-20 fiscal year, officials said, followed by 1,015 officials in 2020-21, 967 personnel in 2021-22 and another 967 personnel in 2022-23.

Officers said the concerned authorities – including the Ministry of Interior and the Establishment and Finance divisions – have approved the creation of the division.

The Finance Division has also endorsed the Establishment Division’s proposal to create 437 posts along with financial implications of Rs312 million per year in phase one.

Private agencies’ services will be sought for the recruitment of staff, senior officers from the Islamabad police said. Bids were called from agencies to conduct tests and other related activities for recruitment.

Once the bidding process is completed and the contract awarded, posts of constables and ASIs will be advertised, they said.

They said the Islamabad police works on a range of issues, from managing crime through prevention and detection to the security of foreigners and responding to the law and order situation.

The law and order duty takes greater significance as it affects the whole city and, more often than not, processions, protests, sit-ins and agitation from all over Pakistan culminates in Islamabad.

The increasing law and order duties are coupled with the demand for security cover for Chinese nationals who visit public offices in Islamabad every day, officers said.

Recent incidents of attacks of Chinese nationals as well as an increasing number of law and order situations has diverted the police’s resources away from crime prevention and detection.

Currently, the Operations Division – assigned the duty of preventing and detecting crime – is occupied with law and order and protection for foreigners, they said.

They added that personnel are requested from all over the country to deal with law and order situations, and they have to be stationed and relied upon during active action. In addition to being an expensive exercise, it is also not reliable.

The officers said the police’s Anti-Riot Unit will merge with the Law and Order Unit as well, while police commandoes and the Anti-Terrorism Squad will assist both units as well.

Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2019