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ISLAMABAD: The twin cities’ police have agreed to institutionalise coordination between both departments through regular meetings to address a previous “trust deficit” in handling law and order issues.
During an informal conversation with Dawn, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad Qazi Jameelur Rehman and Regional Police Officer (RPO) Rawalpindi Imran Ahmer pointed out that police of both cities must be on the same page to combat criminals and both departments had conducted several joint operations in the past.
The IGP said since he assumed the charge of his office, he held meetings with RPO Rawalpindi to discuss enhancing trust and coordination between police as there were many loops from Sihala to Tarnol where there was no checkposts.
“To formalise the conversation, we decided to hold a monthly meeting between the SPs and DSPs of the twin cities police, followed by a meeting with the DIG and CPO after two months, and finally a meeting with the IGP. Then, on a regular basis, there should be communication between the twin cities’ police,” IGP Rehman said.
“If a crime is committed in one city, criminals easily move to another city to escape the police. Due to lack of coordination, issues have emerged,” the IGP said, adding that data will be shared and coordination will be strengthened further.
“We should go for the latest technology to manage things as we have a safe-city project which is being fully activated, in addition we have been planning to use smart cars and drones to curb criminal activities in the federal capital territory,” he added.
RPO Ahmar said criminals had become very active and use different tactics as they commit a crime in one place and then move to the other to avoid police of that area.
“We must be on the same page to combat criminals,” the RPO said, adding that cooperation between police must be strengthened, especially in the twin cities’ connecting areas.
He said: “After communication on all levels is started, we shall assess the situation and its results, although a lot of data is yet to be exchanged between both sides.”
When asked about the sensitivity of Faizabad and other points connecting the twin cities, the RPO said Faizabad was a junction which was not designed keeping the law and order situation into consideration.
“But this time we sat together and planned deployment of force which helped us a lot,” he said, adding that although many police personnel were injured and faced other losses, police’s top priority was to restrain criminals and not to make use of deadly force, ensuring safety of the public.
“The attitude and planning of Rawalpindi police was different while handling previous law and order situations but this time our strategy was much better,” the RPO said, adding that previous shortcomings were also discussed.
“We were given a clear policy by the government to handle the situation due to which we had no problem in managing the situation,” RPO Ahmer said while talking about the recent Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) protests.
Responding to a question regarding arrests and release of TLP workers, he said legal procedures were being followed as those who had been arrested on criminal charges were facing the law.
In relation to removal of police checkposts in Islamabad, the IGP said police would not establish permanent checkposts.
Both the IGP and RPO reiterated keeping good liaison with the media and said there were many important things which came to them through media.
“Media is our eyes, ears and tongue. If our relation is good with the media, we can convey our achievements to the public in a better way,” both senior police officers said.
The IGP said he had directed officials to resume weekly briefing to media to further develop good liaison with journalists.
Published in Dawn, May 13th, 2021