THE historic Police Reforms introduced in the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Police in line with the vision of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief to effect change in every sphere of life, are destined to go a long way in further improving performance of the KP Police that has already and almost become a model police force in the country.
The Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province, which is bounded by tribal areas and shares long unregulated border with Afghanistan, has been weathering storms ever since the invasion of neighbouring country Afghanistan by the Soviet Union. In fact, it has been a victim of violence and terrorism for the last more than three decades.
Owing to proximity to the tribal areas, the security and law and order situation of the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province has historically been influenced by the situation in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) that has become the hub of militancy casting repercussions on the entire country. In the given circumstances the menace of terrorism, kidnapping for ransom, target killing and extortion had become the major concerns of the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Police.
The Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Police that had a gigantic task ahead was also confronted with host of issues including resources/capacity constraints, allegations of corruption, nepotism and poor Police perceptions (as is the case with rest of the Police in the country). Besides, the fast widening gulf between the police and the masses, that lacked confidence over the force, had been the major issue.
Hence these challenges and issues needed unconventional and modern day solutions on war footings. It was in this backdrop that a diagnostic approach was devised with the objective of addressing the external and internal issues confronting the KP Police. The strategic framework for KP Police, aimed at winning the public trust through better service delivery has been predicted on the capacity building of the Police force through modern training , structural reforms with the objective of improving processes and enhanced community engagement under the table leadership of dedicated provincial Police Chief Nasir Khan Durrani.
The Police reforms are hence aimed at accomplishing the mission of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Police, “To protect the lives, property and honour of the people; maintain public order and enforce the laws of the land to the best of our ability and without any discrimination through modern, protective Policing and community participation” under the vision of promoting a society free of crime and injustice.
To meet the big challenge of menace of terrorism, a Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) was established in the very first year of the PTI government in KP. The purpose of the Counter-Terrorism Force was to effectively thwart the nefarious designs of the terrorists and the Anti-state elements that had expanded their networks across the province.
The department that comprises of more than two thousand trained staff, has three wings i.e. Intelligence, Investigation and Operation with all the wings supported by the IT, Telecommunication as well as Research and Analysis. The CTD, which has a police station in every regional Police Headquarters, has the province-wide jurisdiction and since its inception being working exceptionally and proved an effective tool against the terrorism by successfully foiling heinous designs of saboteurs and apprehended thousands of terrorists, militants and proclaimed offenders with many of them heaving head money for their involvement in the anti-state activities.
Likewise in the backdrop of continuous terrorist activities in the region Rapid Response Force (RRF) was also set up in the CTD; a force that could conduct counter terrorism operations and react and respond efficiently in the events of organized armed assaults by the terrorists or in a hostage situation.
The RRF is a standby force consisting of highly motivated and trained police units available for deployment on a notice of hardly five to ten minutes. The RRF has fast means of mobility that allow it to reach even the remotest parts within no time, has all the necessary equipment and appropriate firepower to fulfil its mandated tasks.
The RRF is responsible to respond in situations like organized armed assaults on sensitive and vulnerable establishments, armed assaults in a public place, armed and organized attacks on police force, major police encounters and hostage situations.
Under the historic Police Reforms a Special Combat Unit (SCU) was also established on the pattern of Zarar Company of Pakistan Army commandos or the Special Services Group (SSG), as unit of highly trained and motivated individuals who can respond to extreme situations, which the District Police or the RRF may be unable to respond to.
The SCU being raised on the pattern of SSG, the Pakistan Army has lent full support to the unit in trainings such as Para-trooping and water-born Operations etc. The Army has also helped the unit by providing master trainers to the SCU in order to make it an extremely effective force.
The SCU personals have been trained in modern warfare tactics, specialized combat manoeuvring, specialized weapons handling, and use of modern gadgetry, para-trooping and water-borne operations. In fact, the CTD, RRF and SCU have proved their worth during this period and have come up to the expectations of their superiors as well as the masses.