ISLAMABAD: Despite its vulnerability to terrorist attacks like the one at a court complex on Monday the Islamabad police high-ups are reluctant to adequately arm the police force with semiautomatic assault rifles that are widely available to police officials in many of the world’s other major capitals, a top police officer in Islamabad told Daily Times on Tuesday.
He said that policemen in Islamabad are finding it hard to encounter well trained terrorists in the city due to lack of automatic and modern weapons. “With obsolete weapons it is a very difficult task for the police to overcome terrorists attacks,” he said, adding that “not only could the police force not easily defend against an attack by well-armed terrorists but the absence of weapons could actually make the city a target.”
The official said that in addition to the lack of manpower, the shortage of sophisticated weapons also remains an issue in the sensitive spots. He informed that most of the police official’s working at Islamabad police force is untrained and could not understands sensitivity of the situation. Commenting on Monday’s terror attack the official said that Islamabad police had not taken concrete steps to stop the entry of militants into parts of the capital city from Rawalpindi and Kashmir despite repeated terrorist attacks and bomb blasts in nearing areas of Rawalpindi which also spread panic in Islamabad.
Rawalpindi next to Islamabad is among the unsafe cities of Punjab, but the senior officials concerned in Islamabad have failed to depute trained personnel with sophisticated weapons here to defeat the attackers.
He said. He said that since recruitment police officials get no proper training and are deputed to counter terrorists. He said that most of the police officials at Islamabad police were untrained and has no understanding how to encounter terrorists. Giving the reference of eyewitnesses he said that three terrorists behind the attack at Islamabad Kacheri managed to flee due to the outdated weapons and ammunition of the police.
The official claimed that police forces presence on the scene fired shots at terrorists but their rifle malfunctioned and they couldn’t target them. He said there were around 42 police officials who could only fire some 30 bullets in the entire shootout. He said that training was must for the policemen to perform their duties wisely and protect their own and other people’s lives. Referring to Monday’s massive attack at F8 Kacheri instead of the presence of over 40 police officials he said that if the police were trained and they had modern weapons, the loss would have been less.
“Trained policeman with modern weapons would never have let terrorists to flee or blow themselves up,” the official maintained. IG Islamabad’s spokesman said that capital police has 12 quick response force (QRF) units and five counter terrorism squads (CTS) each having a sniper and a 12-member crisis response team (CRT) whose personals are well trained and they have got sophisticated weapons. While under standard operating procedure (SOP) the capital police is supposed to respond to any emergency situation within seven minutes. Eyewitnesses were of the view that instead of passing 45 minutes the police team couldn’t reach at the site of attack. It may be mentioned here that at the time of the terror attacks at Islamabad Kacheri, a QRF was also present at F-8 Markaz where the district and sessions courts are located and a CRT was deployed at D Chowk.
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