LAHORE: Punjab Government has yet to implant tracking chip-bands to the members of banned organizations, who have remained involved in terror activities and were also included in Fourth Schedule of government, in order to monitor their activities.
Fourth schedule is a list of federal government, which includes the names of members/office bearers of banned organizations, who were found, involved in or supporting terror activities, were arrested and jailed by the government after prosecution on the orders of different courts.
The government, two months ago, announced a strategy to monitor the activities of such suspects and decided to attach tracking chips to the members of banned organizations. The Punjab Government, while implementing National Action Plan, devised a list of people that included the names of 1300 high valued suspects who have remained a part of different defunct organizations.
Despite Government’s announcement, not even a single chip band was attached to any member of the banned organizations. A Deputy Superintendent rank official of Counter-Terrorism Force (CTF), on condition of anonymity, told News Lens Pakistan that the Government finalized the project six months ago, but it was announced about two months ago.
“Since project’s announcement, the purchase of chip-bands at a lower price was a matter of serious concern which delayed the project a bit”, DS revealed. Adding to this he said that the home department with the help of Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) has collected several samples of chip bands and later agreed on one.
Home Minister Punjab Shuja Khanzada while talking to News Lens Pakistan disclosed that they have finally purchased 1500 chip bands and these will soon be attached to the members of banned organizations.
“Installation of these chip bands would be done with the help of CTF and these chip bands will be given to them in a week or so. These chip bands will help in monitoring the movements of members of defunct organizations,” he said. Moreover, he said that a control room in this regard has been established under PITB that would track these chips via satellite.
He said that the chip bands are chargeable and will remain alive till three months. “CTF will also provide chargers of chip bands to the high valued suspects so they could re-charge it,” Khanzada said.
A signal will blink in the control room if any member tried to detach the chip band or tried to switch it off, as a result of which, the LEAs will make immediate arrests in such cases. He further disclosed that the names of high valued suspects could be removed from the fourth schedule if they behaved properly during monitoring time that would vary from person to person.
Khanzada added that Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) including Punjab Police, Lahore Police and officials of CTF has arrested 800 high valued suspects out of 1300 of the banned organizations but later on, 550 persons were released on provision of surety bonds. 250 high valued suspects are still in the custody of CTF and chip bands would soon be attached to them.
Dr. Haider Ashraf, Deputy Inspector General of Lahore Police’s Operation Wing, applauded the efforts of Punjab Government for scientific based policing. “Installation of chip bands to the members/office bearers of banned organization will help police in maintaining records of such high valued suspects on the regular basis,” he said.
He added that the home department has not provided chip bands to the Lahore Police yet. Once received, police will attach these chip bands to the high valued suspects as soon as possible. “Right now, every police station, monitors activities of such suspects manually which sometimes helps criminals escape although police try their best to ensure proper monitoring of such suspects,” he said.
Spokesperson Punjab Police Nabeela Ghazanfar on this issue told News Lens Pakistan that officers have been directed to ensure immediate implementation in this regard. She added that the Inspector General of Punjab Police Mushtaq Sukhera has already issued clear directions to all the Regional Police Officers and District Police Officers for keeping an eye on such suspects.