Pakistani paramilitary troops stood guard after clearing a road blocked by angry supporters of Tehreek-e-Labiak Pakistan, a radical Islamic political party, to protest the arrest of the party’s leader. family name Saad Rizvi, in Lahore, Pakistan, Tuesday, April 13, 2021.
Source: AP Photo / KM Chaudary
For days, police in Pakistan defied riots by a far-right religious group, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP). Although Pakistan has decided to ban the TLP after the latest wave of deadly protests, it will be difficult for the ill-fated police to have time to rest.
TLP protests put the country to a standstill after its leader, Saad Hussain Rizvi, was arrested in Lahore on April 12. Last week, Rizvi told his followers to begin the standard. was given a long march on April 20 when his party’s request to expel the French ambassador from Pakistan was not met by the government. The TLP, for years rallied crowds on the issue of blasphemy, warned the government of the deadly protests last November if the French ambassador was not expelled because of the President’s controversial remarks. French Emmanuel Macron.
In the Punjab province alone, more than 300 individual police officers were seriously injured while at least two were killed in clashes with TLP workers. Police, armed with riot equipment, ran for their lives as TLP protesters used guns to chase them on the streets.
“The TLP’s armed men opened fire at the police and our four policemen were injured,” said a senior Punjab police official. Dawn. This is probably the first time the TLP has publicly used weapons against law enforcement.
The top officer of the police did not condemn the TLP’s violence or modify its officers to defy the violence of the street. About 40 police officers were kidnapped by TLP protesters and search operations had to be carried out to release them. In one case, the police proceeded work to save Model Town sheriff and five others from TLP protesters in the middle of Lahore.
“The lack of support from the high levels of the police and the government is” a clear reminder that low-level police officers are purely at work, “said Zoha Waseem, a security expert in Pakistan. disposable and indispensable “
Explaining the reasons behind the lack of police assistance, added Waseem is noted on social media platforms that “perhaps countries like Pakistan want to have weak institutional police to allow the military to engage in internal affairs, to allow politicization of the police in response to political and economic interests. , and avoid institutional independence to ensure silence of police commanders and leaders. “
The growing anger in the ranks of the police is visible, indicating the disruption of the organization. Recorded her disappointment about the lack of support from high levels and state, one by one police director assistant “I hope our seniors in the Punjab police are not tolerant of this,” said in a Twitter post. If we ignore this, we will lose all authority and control. Hope is against the hope that the government does not ignore this.
On Tuesday, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has supported it behind TLP’s demonstrates violently and promises revenge for the deaths of TLP workers killed in clashes with police. “Don’t trust the Pak state institutions and their promises. Armed fighting against them is the only solution, ”the group said in a statement. This raises concerns that police in the coming weeks could face attacks from militant groups such as the TTP or the armed divisions of the TLP. In the past, the TLP and other sectarian groups have openly targeted Pakistani police for conducting anti-terrorism or anti-insurgency operations on behalf of other law enforcement agencies, especially the military. team. In 2015, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), a banned militant organization, assassinated the Punjab Shuja Khanzada’s Interior Minister after police launched massive campaigns against the group in the province. LeJ, also associated with TTP, promotes a “Sunni Islamic Kingdom establishment program in Pakistan.“
The TLP’s growing threat to an unsupported and poorly skilled front-line force like the Pakistani police will ring alarm bells in Pakistani policymakers. It would not be surprising if TLP management also shook hands with TTP at some point following the comprehensive ban against the group or re-exported under a different name. What makes the TLP a bigger threat is that it has millions of followers across mainland Pakistan who support the group’s core agenda revolving around the theme of blasphemy.
Unfortunately, state agencies continue to use poorly equipped and poorly trained police to carry out their badly planned counterterrorism policies without improving their capacity. organ. This has been happening despite the fact that Pakistan has been fighting the military for decades without investing in an institution that is the key fighting force in this regard.
Most armies around the world are not “trained or equipped to deal with order and internal law crises” and most “act as a back-up force ready to move if needed. assisting police action, ”wrote Hassan Abbas in its recently published report “Reforming Pakistan’s Police Infrastructure and Law Enforcement: Are there too many shortcomings to correct?”
Hence, “whether it is against rebels or terrorists, a good police force is the best option of any state.”
Abbas further noted that “[t]This is a broad consensus in Pakistan that after decades of abuse and neglect, the country’s police force is unable to effectively fight crime, comply with the law, provide security. Basic for citizenship and against the army is increasing. Perhaps this is one of the reasons behind the police’s terrible reputation and widespread reputation as a failed organization, thus causing violent attitudes towards their officials in situations such as Protests are taking place.
On the other hand, a carefully constructed image of the military, rangers and other law enforcement agencies of competent and upright institutions can sometimes help deal with such situations. For example, over the past two days, there have been many videos showing military officers greeted by TLP demonstrators and speaking respectfully on the streets while the policemen were being abused.
Abbas noted: “The police’s lack of expertise in countering the growing threat of extremists is undermining the stability of the Pakistani state and taking the lives of thousands of people in attacks. “This omission is catastrophic, because counterterrorism will be part of the Pakistan Police portfolio for many years to come,” Abbas noted.