PESHAWAR: The Hazara police have activated 724 police liaison councils (PLCs) across the region to help enforce social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hazara regional police officer Qazi Jamilur Rehman told Dawn on Wednesday that these committees were represented by 4,000 notables and influential citizens having access to the people.

The PLCs were incorporated in KP Police Act, 2017 tasked with assisting the police in maintenance of law and order and resolving local disputes. They were to inform the local police about new developments in the area and the matters impacting law and order situation.

Mr Rehman said while facing the Covid-19 challenge and ensuring social distancing, there was a dire need to take the community on board because it was not possible to enforce all these measures without cooperation of people. He said the community should be engaged, consulted with, sensitised and encouraged to help and support the governmental efforts for the greater good of people.

The police chief said there was a need to activate existing bodies instead of establishing new ones. He said PLCs were deep-rooted in society and had an effective role to play in community, which needed to be utilised in implementation of the government directives regarding Covid- 19.

He said DSPs in their respective areas convened the meetings of PLCs, asking them to play role in these testing times.

Mr Rehman said PLCs had been tasked with collecting information regarding coronavirus suspects, the presence of any Tableeghi Jamaat members, or the people having returned from preaching functions, watching over the suspects/confirmed individuals quarantined at homes, and sharing prompt information regarding the changing law and order scenario at the grassroots level.

In addition to this, the PLCs would also alert police about shortage of food items and hoardings issues and engage with the mosques’ committees.

He said the PLCs had devised their own strategy as per the local requirements and had started the awareness sessions.

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2020