PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has taken back police security from 29 political personalities and VIPs, including former chief ministers, for which it is facing criticism.
The Elite Police Force has issued a notification under which the personnel deputed on security of former chief minister Amir Haider Khan Hoti, former interior minister and QWP Chairman Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, ANP provincial president Aimal Wali Khan, ANP general secretary Mian Iftikhar, PML-N provincial president Amir Muqam and other political personalities have been directed to report back to Police Headquarters. The notification said security or PTI MNA Anwar Taj, Senator Ayub Afridi, PTI MPA Somi Falak Naz, former DG NAB KP Nasir Farooq Awan, Nawab of Dir Nawabzada Ameer Khan, eminent doctor Naeem and Dr Iftikhar has also been taken back.
The notification did not mention the reason behind calling back the security personnel, but this decision has drawn criticism from various circles, while some people are also supporting this development.
Ameer Haider Hoti said the KP government is trying to pressurize the ANP leadership by taking back security. He said the government will be responsible if anything happens to him.
Senior journalist Aziz Buneri termed the government decision strange and dangerous move at a time when the security situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is facing challenges. He told TNN that it is unfortunate that the situation in KP may face deterioration due to uncertain law and order in neighbouring Afghanistan. He said the recent attack on police post in Dir and pro-Afghan Taliban rally in Peshawar must be an eye opener. He said calling back security of important political leaders despite knowing that they might be on the hit list of terrorists tantamount to exposing them to danger.
Although, he said, the government has also taken back security of some PTI leaders, but overall this is not a positive move and this trend may also be followed in future.
On the other hand, Ihtesham Khan, a local journalist, hailed the government decision, arguing that the police are recruited for serving the masses, not the elites. He said political personalities own massive wealth in shape of properties, mills, plazas and other valuables and they can easily afford private security guards, and they should not burden the government exchequer.
Senior journalist Zafar Iqbal said policemen are also deployed on security of former police officers who are in fact working as their personal servants. He said there are 18 policemen on ‘security’ of a retired DIG in Peshawar and their actual task is to look after his kitchen, cattle and garden. He said there should be no discrimination in providing and taking back security to any personality including politicians or retired officers.