LAHORE – To strengthen the information gathering network between nine ranges and 36 police lines of the provincial police, the big guns of the department have planned to merge more than 30,000 Punjab Qaumi Razakars (PQRs) with the force and designate them as beat officers.

An Additional IGP said these Razakars would be asked to collect information about criminals, proclaimed offenders, court absconders, gangster, rapists, assassins and etc across the Punjab.

The police department would take action against the criminals and devise strategies and crime prevention plans after these Razakars would submit their reports about their working in 750 police stations of the province, he added.

In other words, the acute shortage of police personnel has forced the department to formally ask the District Coordination Officers (DCOs) of the Punjab to extend their cooperation with the police department in order to maintain law and orders across the largest province of Pakistan.

Commenting on the Punjab Qaumi Razakars Ordinance, 1965, a senior official of the City District Government Lahore (CDGL) seeking anonymity said a member of Qaumi Razakar would be under the control of the DCO in aid of the police force or any other service established by law and would have the same powers, privileges and protection as a person appointed to such force or service.

“When a Razakar is called out by the DCO and is handed over to other force like police or any other department then he will be under the control of that force.

If the police department is willing to hire the all-out services of the Qaumi Razakar then the department will have to fulfill the criterion,” said the CDGL official.

Additional IG Punjab (Welfare and Finance) Sarmad Saeed Khan told this scribe that the high ups had planned to merge Qaumi Razakars in Punjab Police Department. “Right now, we have around 170,000 police officers working with the Punjab Police Department, and these have to give security cover to more than 90 million population of the Punjab,” he stated.

The same force covers security duties, protocol duties, launches operations, conduct investigation and etc, he said, adding the department has separate wings of beat officers.

“Each police station have different beats, and SHO or Moharrar assigns beat duties to different police officers ranking from constable to sub-inspector,” Sarmad Saeed held.

The Addl IGP further said Rs 100 were being given to each Razakar on daily basis in the past but now the department would increase the amount so that they may work with professional zeal.

According to the Sindh Home Guards Act, 1948, the West Punjab Qaumi Razakars Act, 1949, and the North-West Frontier Qaumi Razakars Act, 1952, each Qaumi Razakar neglects or refuses to obey such order or any other lawful order or direction given to him for the performance of his duties, without sufficient cause, he shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three months or with fine which may extend to fifty rupees, or with both, as he shall be deemed to be a public servant within the meaning of section 21 of the Pakistan Penal Code.