For a country that has battled violent extremist outfits for decades Pakistan’s local law-enforcement agencies – primarily the police – do not have proper clothing or streamlined SOPs in place. This was reflected once again in the recent twin blasts inside the CTD office at Kabal police station in Swat.
At least 17 people, including nine police officers and six civilians, were among the fatalities and more than 60 were injured.
As an editorial in Dawn notes, “while it is a relief that this was not another successful breach of a law-enforcement agency’s parameter by militants, it is all the more tragic that so many people lost their lives or sustained injuries in an entirely preventable disaster. Clearly, questions need to be asked about the handling and storage of incendiary devices/materials, most of which, according to sources, were recovered from militants and included mortars, grenades, small rocket launchers, explosive raw material and possibly IEDs as well. Initial estimates suggest that an amount as huge as 50kg could be responsible for the extent of damage caused.”
Further, “SOPs must be reviewed as to inspections, supervision, handling, safe custody and record-keeping at such storage sites and any gaps in these must be rectified. If the SOPs are in order, there was obviously a lapse and those responsible must be held accountable for their negligence.”