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Law Enforcement Agencies Face Bleak Situation Ahead Of Muharram

Rawalpindi’s Civil Defence department and police are facing a bleak situation ahead of Muharram with a shortage of staff and faulty firearms and metal detectors.

In a report in Dawn, a senior Civil Defence official was quoted as saying that the bomb disposal squad of their department do possess modern equipment, but they are faced with a shortage of staff.

Describing the staff issues in his organization, he said that posts for first aid providers and technicians have been vacant for several months after the retirement of previous employees.

In light of these circumstances, he said Civil Defence would face problems with regards to enhancing security during Muharram.

Generally, the bomb disposal squad of Civil Defence has to sweep an area where a procession has to pass. With understaffing, this duty is likely to become difficult.

The official detailed that currently, one technician is working temporarily against a strength of three posts, while two technicians are working post-retirement, while many posts remain vacant.

The department is also in shortage of drivers and instructors. According to the aforementioned report, Civil Defence Officer Talib Hussain said the shortage was due to Punjab government banning the recruitment of staff.

Talib Hussain informed media that the latest technology had been acquired for the bomb disposal squad from the European Union, United States and Canada.

Moreover, police firearms are deteriorating due to lack of maintenance while metal detectors are dysfunctional due to lack of batteries.

In a surprising revelation, a junior police official told media that in two years, only once has an official from the armoury paid a visit for the inspection of firearms. He said that some guns lacked firing pins while officials even used ropes as holsters.

In light of such poor conditions of the law enforcement, the effectiveness of authorities to deal with a volatile situation in the upcoming month will likely be reduced.

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