Anti-terrorism police stations in Punjab on the cards: minister

* Shuja Khanzada says anti-terrorism force to be authorised to register FIRs

ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government has given approval to establishment of anti-terrorism police stations to overcome militancy, Minister for Environment Protection and Police Reforms Committee Chairman Colonel (r) Shuja Khanzada said in an exclusive interview with Daily Times.
The minister said that in the first phase, ant-terrorism police stations would be established in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan and Faisalabad and that work on this project had been started and that it would be completed very soon.
 “These stations will gradually be established in all of the divisions of the province,” he added. 
The stations, he said, will be equipped with modern technology with the cooperation of the United Kingdom and Turkey.
He said that the anti-terrorism force (ATF) would be authorised to register FIRs against terrorists while anti-terrorism courts would be established inside these stations for quick proceedings. 
“The chief minister has given directives to complete the task of establishment of these stations as soon as possible to provide protection to the people of the province,” he added. 
Khanzada claimed that promotions and appointments in the Punjab Police were made strictly on merit. 
He said that all of the district police officers (DPO) were responsible to ensure that police under their authority perform well. 
“We are in the process of introducing a system whereby every police station would have its own website where citizens will not only be able to just lodge FIRs but also to keep a track of the ensuing developments as and when they happen.”
He said that information technology (IT) system would be supported by an independent monitoring team whose task would be to ensure that every complaint was looked into without any delay, he added.
 “We have identified 1,800 points within the city of Lahore where close circuit cameras will be installed to not only monitor and control traffic but also to keep a vigilant eye on movement of pedestrians and that the command and control centre will have the orders of initiating any police action if any camera sights anything suspicious. All of this is to be implemented under the command and control system programme that would take at least further one and a half years to complete.”
The minister said that the Command and Control Authority building would be completed by September after which implementation of the remaining portions of the project would start. 
He said that the IT system would issue a deadline for courts to pass a final judgment, so the usual delays in adjudication of cases would be overcome. The system would also issue deadline to the police and others involved in any FIR/hearing, he added.

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