KP lawmakers rail at police’s night search operations

Published January 3, 2020
The house through a calling attention notice of Awami National Party MPA Shagufta Malik praised the police’s sacrifices in the war against terrorism and demanded jobs for the children of martyred personnel in the department.
— APP
The house through a calling attention notice of Awami National Party MPA Shagufta Malik praised the police’s sacrifices in the war against terrorism and demanded jobs for the children of martyred personnel in the department. — APP

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police drew appreciation in the provincial assembly on Thursday over sacrifices in the fight against terrorism, while some members criticised police for what they called conducting indiscriminate and unlawful night search operations in the suburban areas of the provincial capital.

The house through a calling attention notice of Awami National Party MPA Shagufta Malik praised the police’s sacrifices in the war against terrorism and demanded jobs for the children of martyred personnel in the department.

Ms Shagufta said the province’s police had done a commendable job against terrorism as hundreds of officers and personnel laid down life fighting against terrorists.

She said children of 200 martyred personnel despite commitments by the government had not been provided jobs.

Minister assures PA of probe into complaint, says accountability of police necessary

The lawmaker asked the government to accommodate 200 legal heirs of the martyred personnel in the police force.

Law and parliamentary affairs minister Sultan Mohammad Khan told the house that the government wouldn’t forget the sacrifices of martyred police personnel.

He said it was the government’s responsibility to continue supporting the families of the martyred personnel.

The minister said 300 vacancies were created for the children of the martyred personnel and 100 children had been recruited by the department.

He said the chief minister had ordered the recruitment of the remaining 200 children forthwith and that the matter was discussed in the cabinet’s meetings as well.

The two ANP lawmakers blasted the police through a joint calling attention notice for violating the sanctity of home and torturing inmates by conducting midnight raids in the suburbs of Peshawar.

The matter was referred to the house’s standing committee on home.

MPAs Khushdil Khan and Salahuddin Khan through their calling attention notice complained that the police were conducting midnight search operations in Solemankhel, Mashkhel, Maryumzai, Sorizai Payan and Urmer Bala with search warrants.

They said the police and personnel of other law-enforcement agencies could not raid houses and arrest people without search warrants. The lawmakers said the police had no regards for cultural sensitivities and subjected women and children to physical torture.

They alleged that the police didn’t mention seized weapons in FIRs, while they also snatched jewellery and cash.

The members asked the government to produce details of terrorists and proclaimed offenders arrested during search operations in the area.

Minister Sultan Khan said the government would investigate the allegations.

“The police will not be allowed to conduct unauthorised search operations and harass people on the pretext of operations against criminals. They should fulfil all legal formalities before conducting search operations,” he said.

The minister said the matters related to police had been discussed at the prime minister’s and chief minister’s level and the accountability of the police force was essential.

He said a high-level committee on law and order was already functioning. The minister said the calling attention notice would be discussed in the committee.

He said winter kits would be provided to the police very soon.

Earlier, women MPAs from the opposition benches resigned from the Women Parliamentary Caucus to protest what they called the discriminatory approach of chairperson Maliha Ali Asghar Khan. They said the chairperson ignored the opposition and did not take them into confidence on important matters like foreign trips, legislation and other activities.

During question hour, the assembly was informed that the government would set up economic zones in Upper and Lower Dir districts.

Adviser to the chief minister on industries Abdul Karim Khan said 40 acres of land had been acquired in Chitral for the proposed industrial zone, while small industrial zones would be set up in Swat, Bajaur and Buner districts. The sitting was adjourned until 10am on Friday.

Published in Dawn, January 3rd, 2020

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