1 February 2023
By Rehan Piracha
Police personnel in KP took to the streets in a rare protest across major cities to call for an independent probe into the Peshawar bombing that has left over 100 of their colleagues martyred and scores injured.
On Wednesday, the death toll from the mosque blast reached over 100 as police claimed to make major arrests in connection.
Police officials held a demonstration outside Peshawar Press Club to demand more powers and security for personnel in wake of terrorist attacks. The demonstrators carried placards inscribed with slogans calling for an end to terrorism and militancy in the province. The protesting police personnel demanded that the government should form an independent joint investigation team as well as publicly share findings over those held responsible for the killings in the explosion.
In a letter to the provincial police chief, the department’s special branch warned of growing resentment among lower-ranked police personnel. According to the letter, police personnel expressed their anger over complacency in responding to the terrorist attacks. The lower-ranked police personnel has threatened to submit en-masse resignations if their demands were not met. Police personnel also held demonstrations in Swabi, Charsadda, Mardan, Noweshera, Mingora, Bannu, and other districts.
Separately, Peshawar police chief Ijaz Khan claimed to make major arrests in connection with the bombing. According to Khan, police are investigating how the suicide bomber entered the highly-secured police area, and could not rule out internal assistance to carry out the attack.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has witnessed a spike in terrorist attacks after the proscribed Tehrik Taliban Pakistan withdrew from a peace deal with the government last year.