ISLAMABAD - Planning and Development Department, Directorate General of Monitoring and Evaluation (E&M) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has unearthed massive financial irregularities in the purchase of 213 SMG rifles (AK-47) under ‘Strengthening of Police Department in Earthquake Affected Districts of KP’ project, it was learnt yesterday.

The documents available with The Nation said that the 213 rifles along with 852 magazines and 10 vehicles were purchased by the central police office Peshawar in 2010 and were handed over to the Hazara region police for earthquake-affected districts of KP including Abbottabad, Mansehra, Battagram, Shangla and Kohistan.

The provincial government had taken the decision to strengthen the police in the backdrop of security scenario in the country, safety and security of the foreigners and the staff members of all national/international NGOs and to speed up the ongoing and planned projects in the earthquake affected districts.

The government believed that any threat to the safety and security of the foreigners and staff members of INGOs tarnished the soft image of the country besides adversely affecting relations with other countries.

The DG M&E team visited different districts of Hazara division where the weapons and vehicles purchased for strengthening the police department were present. The team observed that the weapons were purchased at Rs 6.28 million, showing the cost of unit at Rs 26,000 approximately in 2010. It further observed that as per market rates in 2010, the AK-47 unit cost was more than Rs 45,000 which put doubts on the credibility and quality of the weapons purchased. One of the rifles (number 4614941) along with a magazine and 30 rounds was also found missing which, according to the police department, was stolen and an FIR was lodged.

The M&E team did verify the physical presence of weapons and vehicles but could not verify the quality of weapons purchased. In this regard, the M&E team requested Pakistan Ordnance Factory, Wah, to carry out the quality assurance test and they agreed to conduct it within 24 hours of the request but, the E&M team said the then DIG police Hazara and CPO Peshawar did not cooperate in this regard.

“Both of them did not provide the feedback on time and delayed the matter that raised the doubts on the CPO Peshawar regarding the purchase of weapons”, the report added.

The team further said that 10 vehicles were also purchased under the ‘Strengthening of Police Department in Earthquake Affected Districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’. “The M&E team verified 9 vehicles which were present in different police stations of Hazara region except one vehicle which was in Islamabad with DIG Hazara region”, it observed.

The M&E team after analyzing the observations and situation recommended that an enquiry committee be made to enquire the reasons of not giving the permission to conduct the material testing.

It further recommended that a disciplinary action be taken against the police personnel for not providing the details of purchase of weapons to the Directorate General of M&E.