RAWALPINDI: The Noor Khan Airbase authorities have asked the local police and the commissioner to “maintain and share the data” of individuals possessing weapons within a five kilometres radius of the base for the purpose of ‘record keeping’.
The request of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) came in light of aerial firing around the base, recovery of more than 450 bullets besides chemical thread, and damage to a cabin’s windscreen by stray bullets in Feb this year.
Since the incident happened on February 24, the base authorities have asked the commissioner, the regional police officer (RPO), and the city police officer (CPO) a number of times to enhance security arrangements to curb aerial firing and impose Section 144 in the area to stop the menace.
According to sources, the PAF base authorities asked the local police to maintain and share the data of all those people possessing weapons in a five-kilometre radius for “record-keeping”.
According to sources, a similar request to the divisional commissioner and police had been made about two weeks before the Feb 24 incident. Still, the authorities were unable to keep a check on the firing in the vicinity of the airbase, particularly Fazal Town, Khurram Colony, Muslim Town, Dhoke Gangal, Dhoke Lalyal, Chah Sultan, Dhoke Khabba, Dhoke Elahi Buksh, and Dhoke Farman Ali.
This type of firing has disturbed flight operations; recently two stray bullets hit the windscreen of a service mechanical transport signal cabin at the airbase.
The PAF authorities, while terming these instances worrying, claimed that such practices pose a severe threat to the lives of staffers, working round the clock to maintain service aircraft, in addition to endangering the safety of national assets.
The authorities also requested the district administration and police to curb this tendency through various search operations around the airfield to avoid any untoward incident and impose Section 144 in the entire area in the vicinity of the base. They also asked the police to conduct search operations in Shaheen Town, Sadiqabad, Asghar Mall Scheme, Affandi Colony and Dhoke Khabba on a priority basis.
The Nur Khan Base authorities have been asking the district administration and police from time to time to conduct search operations in the base’s surroundings to check aerial firing but a crackdown in this regard is still awaited.
Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2023