Checking riots in capital

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THE federal cabinet on Tuesday was given a presentation on creation of a new unit of Islamabad Police to save the federal capital from riots and mob attacks.

According to Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, who briefed the media-men about proceedings of the meeting, the new unit would be equipped with the latest technology, like drone cameras to avert the possibility of rioting and mob in the capital city.

What has been happening during the last few years has strengthened the impression that Islamabad and its sister city Rawalpindi have become totally vulnerable to riots and mob attacks, disrupting routine life and seriously undermining the working of the Government and the local administration.

Apart from politically motivated crowds that crippled life in the twin cities in the past, it has also been observed that even a small number of rioters blocked vital roads for hours and days at their will.

Rioters and protestors frequently attack and damage public and private properties inflicting huge financial loss on the national exchequer and citizens.

It was all the more ironic that Islamabad Police, which was supposed to be the role model, miserably failed to deliver as per expectations of the Government and peaceful citizens because of lack of required investment and training.

There is also a practice of frequently requisitioning the services of the Punjab Police, Rangers and even Army to control the situation.

In this backdrop, the decision of the Government to establish a special unit to deal with such a situation in future is a step in the right direction but the unit is unlikely to prove effective given the scale and magnitude of the challenge (on the basis of past experience) which calls for increasing the overall strength of the force, provision of modern gadgets and equipment as well as intensive training.

Otherwise, creation of the unit would only improve crowd monitoring capability of the police and the real challenge of controlling the situation timely would remain unaddressed.

The force should, therefore, be strong enough to establish the writ of the State and hold miscreants accountable.

 

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