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Rs9.6bn to be spent on law & order: officials

January 23, 2004

ISLAMABAD, Jan 22: The federal government has decided to raise an effective police force in Balochistan to improve law and order situation in the province and, as a first step, at least 2000 policemen will be recruited immediately.

The planned raise will cost the exchequer Rs5.5 billion. Official sources told Dawn here on Thursday that it had been decided at the highest level that all 25 districts of the province would be brought under the control of the Balochistan Police Department.

It has also been decided to separately raise the Balochistan Constabulary and the planned increase will cost the government Rs4.1 billion. Under the plan 6000 people would be recruited.

The existing 4000 personnel of the Balochistan Reserve Police (BRP) will be merged into the Balochistan Constabulary to take the strength of the force to 10,000.

According to details, the present force of levies as well as logistics will be merged with the police. The proposed setup will require an additional manpower, residential/non-residential accommodation, weapons and additional logistics which also included transport and communications.

The issues like poor law and order situation, lack of an effective supervisory and accountability mechanism for police force, lack of incentives and financial constraints, institutional degeneration in the police department resulting in substandard performance and lack of adequate staff, equipment and professional training will be addressed under the programme.

It was stated that overall governance in Balochistan could not be improved without the development of an effective and efficient police force. The plan will enable the police to maintain better law and order throughout the province, which was a pre-requisite both for economic and social development and foreign investment.

It has been proposed to convert all areas of 25 revenue districts of Balochistan which are at present called 'B' areas into 'A' areas in order to bring the entire province under the control of one law-enforcement agency that is the police under a phased programme spread over five years.

The plan envisages training of 1700 recruits annually at the Police Training College and Rs191 million would be spent on the scheme. Officials said that the Government of Balochistan at present did not have an adequate police force to deal with any major law and order situation. The existing meagre strength of the Balochistan Reserve Police (BRP) is also engaged in performing routine duties and it is not available to act as an "striking force." Moreover, the present strength of levies in the province was also inadequate.

The plan also envisaged to procure an aircraft (P68 observer) at an estimated cost of Rs50 million. An amount of Rs1.2 billion has been proposed to construct 292 buildings of various categories from zonal headquarter to residences/barracks, in Quetta.

About 542 vehicles of different types such as buses, trucks, pick ups, double cabin Hiace, etc. will be purchased at a cost of Rs575 million. The ministry of interior and narcotics control is the sponsoring agency of the project to be jointly executed by the Home and Police Departments of Balochistan and Communication and Works Department of the province.