LAHORE - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police have conducted 15,135 search and strike operations in the past one year to ward off militants from cities. “The biggest challenge for KP police in the Zarb-e-Azb operation was to keep off the militants from the cities after the Army dismantled their bases in Tribal Areas”, KP police chief Nasir Khan Durrani told The Nation.

He said that following the launch of military operation, militants were on the run and wanted to find safe havens in the cities where they could live in disguise to carry out terrorist activities. “As part of our offensive strategy, as many as 47,516 suspects were detained in 15,135 search and strike operations carried throughout the year”, he said, adding, that 10,9641 suspects were also detained at 54236 snap checking points and big cache of weapons was recovered from them.

Durrani said that defensive strategy formulated by the KP police under the National Action Plan also produced astounding results to stop the militants from entering the urban centres.

Police kept on search and strike operations on daily basis, he said. “As many as 283059 houses were checked and FIRs were lodged against 9559 residents for non-submission of tenant information form. FIRs were also lodged against 1823 hotels for not providing information about their guests”, he informed this paper. He said that police also booked heads of 2402 educational institutions, administrators of 222 bus terminals and 10 cinema owners for not taking measures to keep an effective check on the movement of suspected militants.

Action against illegal immigrants and fake CNIC holders was also part of the strategy to hunt the militants, he said, adding, that as many as 1696 persons with fake ID cards were booked alongwith 1010 attesters of CNICs.

Talking about the presence of illegal immigrants in his province, KP police chief said that 18,192 persons were arrested who had no valid documents and their credentials were being verified. He said police arrested 1557 persons for misuse of loudspeaker while 154 were arrested for making hate speech.

Nasir Durrani claimed that as a result of an effective strategy implemented by KP police, incidents of terrorism in the province decreased by 55 per cent compared to the previous year while 71 per cent less casualties were reported. Similarly, incidents of kidnapping for ransom decreased by 52 per cent while incidents of murder decreased by 23 per cent, he concluded.