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Terrorists being freed by courts due to weak probe, evidence: PM Ashraf

07 February, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Wednesday said that the law enforcement agencies would have to increase intelligence sharing and coordination among themselves to combat terrorism, and avoid carrying out poor investigation and evidence collection that benefit terrorists who are not convicted by courts.

Addressing at the passing-out ceremony of the 38th Specialised Training Programme at the National Police Academy, PM Ashraf said that the poor state of investigation was a matter of serious concern. "Those accused of crimes are not convicted by the courts due to poor investigation and lack of evidence," he regretted. He said that police service was a public face of the state apparatus. "The dreaded Thana Culture has cast a dark shadow on its performance," he added.

"The menace of terrorism threatens the very fabric of our society, life and security of our people. Its nexus with the crime makes the task of the police even more challenging. This calls for a proactive role by the police to rise to the occasion and nip the evil in the bud," the premier maintained.

"Policing is a very dynamic and demanding profession. Given the varied nature of challenges, old concepts must give way to innovative approach for crime management. We cannot allow criminals and terrorists to get away, due to lack or failure to gather evidence, admissible in a court of law," he stated.

He said that parliament had recently passed 'A Right to Fair Trial Bill' to plug the legal loopholes invoked by criminals. He hoped that this would strengthen the law enforcement agencies to place evidence collected by them previously inadmissible in courts. "Let me state very clearly that these powers are meant to curb terrorism and violence. In no way is it a license to suppress human rights or dent human dignity. A democracy cannot allow a police state," he added.

He hoped that new officers would work and change this perception. "Make them feel that you are their friends and protectors," he added.

He said he was confident that the policemen had the requisite determination, calibre, and training to come up to the people's expectations. He urged police to maintain close relationship with the local community and interaction with the community would not only provide the police information about anti-national and anti-social elements but also deny criminals refuge. He said that this was only possible if they were not feared but respected. He urged to improve forensic capabilities and said modern investigative techniques and tools of evidence should be collected.

He hoped that the National Police Academy and police training institutions in the country needed to take up teaching and training in the discipline of investigation as a specialised subject. "Police should be trained on scientific lines both in intelligence gathering and criminal investigation. The government is ready to allocate additional resources and fund any plan, including hiring of foreign trainers and training of our police officials abroad," he added. He said that we are committed to securing the life and property of our citizens at all costs.

He said that the government commends the courage with which the police have been dealing with the menace of terrorism. "A large number of officers and Jawans have offered the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty and the nation is proud of these police officers and Jawans," he added.

Minister for Interior Senator Rehman Malik, Secretary Interior KM Siddique Akbar and Commandant National Police Academy Aftab Sultan were also present on the occasion.

End.

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