The police force in Pakistan is heavily ignored despite the onset of terrorism in the country. Proofs of this are the innumerable deaths of police officers in their attempts to counter the outlaws. Despite the insistence of state institutions that the military needs to be heavily armed, and rightly so, the demands of the police force have been completely ignored; which is on ground in cities and still using outdated weapons.

This is especially true for Punjab police. In the last attack in Lahore in July, police officers were among the 26 people who lost their lives due to the attack. An officer in the force claims that the outlaws in the country have modern weapons as compared to the force, and this impacts their efforts in catching them. This is not just true for terrorists affiliated to the Taliban but also members of local gangs who have access to bigger guns than the force currently has.

During fierce clashes with the Chotu gang in Rajanpur, the police force realised that they had been using outdated armoured personal carriers (APCs), rocket launchers, mortars, and heavy machine guns. The two APCs being used right now were used during the Russian-Afghan war back in the day. With the police on the frontlines so often, they must at least be well-equipped to match any threats they face, of which there are plenty.

The demand for new weapons must be fulfilled. Internal security is one of the topmost priorities of the National Action Plan (NAP) – reducing militancy in the country does not only entail operations in tribal areas, but rooting out terrorists from urban centres and provincial hubs, the responsibility of which falls to the police. Ensuring the protection of civilians while not unnecessarily putting their lives is something members of the police force are entitled to – and for that, their demand for new and sophisticated weaponry must be met.