KP CTD lacks capacity to combat terrorism in province: report
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K) Counter Terrorism Department lacks the capacity to fight terrorism, security institutions stated in a report released on Monday.
It recommended restructuring the department while addressing the major challenges which it identified.
The report, prepared by national security agencies, noted that the provincial government simply did not focus on building capacity of the counter terrorism department.
As a result, it has lost its ability to combat high profile terrorists operating in its jurisdiction.
The report identified budgetary allocations, procurement of necessary equipment, upgrading existing equipment, training of human resources, allocations for operations as well as infrastructure among the major challenges.
The report noted that the CTD in KP gets less than half the funds that Punjab gets for its counter terrorism department.
It noted that Punjab gets around Rs4.7 billion for security operations and salaries of some 1.825 staff.
By comparison, KP get just Rs2.18 billion. Of this, only four percent – around Rs8 million are spent on operations while the remaining fund, around 96% is spent on salaries.
The report noted that the KP CTD had a staff of 2,135 against an authorized strength of 3,161. This put an average district strength across KP’s 34 districts at 66 personnel per district.
Punjab spends Rs276 million on operations, or around 5.87% of its total security budget.
As a result, salaries and other allowances in the province are amongst the lowest when compared to the remaining three provinces.
Despite the budget, it said that KP makes no allocations for fresh procurement of equipment.
For rewards to catch criminals, KP allocates just Rs70 million. By comparison, Punjab allocates a mammoth Rs475 million.
Poor quality human resource
Even though KP has the highest posted strength of CTD personnel than all other provinces, their overall quality was poor.
The report stated that no training was held or was even planned for the next year and that no grant has been released for training in the past two years.
By comparison, in Punjab retired commandos from Pakistan Army’s Special Services Group (SSG) supervise training of the CTD personnel there.
In the newly merged districts, the CTD personnel were recruited from the existing pool of levies and khasadars (volunteers) who did not have any training for their new role.
Lack of infrastructure
Of the regional headquarters for the CTD, four remain under construction, including the one in Bannu. Work on many others has not even started.
All district offices also remain under construction.
Lack of equipment and expertise
With CTD requiring equipment and expertise to do their work, the department in KP lacked modern counter cyber terrorism facilities, unlike Punjab.
Further, they have an identified need for geo locators, communication jammers, communication systems, night fighting capabilities.
To Punjab’s massive fleet of 1,466 vehicles, including 1,284 bikes and 76 double cabins, KP has a mere 448 vehicles.
Most of these, around 361 are motorbikes.
The 34 double cabins that KP CTD has, 27 of them are bullet proof.
The report recommended restructuring the CTD on priority to deal with the rising menace of terrorism in society.
The report comes a day after four law enforcers were killed and another four critically wounded when militants attacked a police station in Lakki Marwat district, KP.
The militants used grenades and automatic weapons before fleeing the scene overnight.
Police said that law enforcers were on duty retaliated and called for reinforcement before the attackers, their ammunition apparently exhausted, fled the scene before help arrived.