Saddar division police in Peshawar facing frequent attacks

Javed Aziz Khan
Tuesday, Jan 24, 2023

PESHAWAR: Police in Saddar division of the provincial capital has been under attack for the last over a year and there seems no end to it. Most of the areas in Saddar division share a boundary with the tribal Khyber district and in some areas it touches Darra Adamkhel.

There have been innumerable attacks on police stations and police posts in the area since mid-2021. These towns also faced the worst law and order during the previous wave of terrorism over a decade back.

For the last several months, attackers have been hurling grenades and using automatic weapons to target the police force in Peshawar before managing to escape toward Khyber. In many attacks in the provincial capital as well as other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the cops were also targeted at midnight with guns fitted with night vision thermal scopes.

On Sunday, a police patrolling car was attacked with an improvised explosive device in Sheikhan village, close to the boundary with Khyber. However, all the cops in the vehicle remained unharmed.

Last week, a deputy superintendent of police (DSP) in the area was martyred along with two of his gunmen when they rushed towards the Sarband Police Station after a midnight grenade attack on its building. The martyred DSP Sardar Hussain is the senior most officer killed in Peshawar in the last several years.

“Sardar Hussain was a brave and competent officer who led the force in his area from the front during all the troubled times. Even on that night, he fought bravely after responding with no time when he heard about the attack on his police station,” Malik Habib Khan, the superintendent of police (SP) Saddar division, told The News.

Peshawar police are divided into four divisions, each headed by one SP for administrative purposes. The SP Saddar added that a number of attacks have been bravely repulsed by the cops in the area in the last months. He said that measures have been taken in areas in the Saddar division for improved the law and order situation.

“Senior officers, including Capital City Police Officer Muhammad Ijaz inspects the remote posts and the troubled areas regularly so that measures are taken to strengthen the pickets with manpower, bulletproof jackets, automatic weapons and all the basic requirements to repulse attacks,” said Habib.

Apart from police stations, posts and patrolling cars, the offices of SP Saddar and DSP Badaber were also attacked with grenades in the past months. Many police posts in the area, including the most attacked Riaz Shaheed and Manzoor Shaheed posts in Sarband, have been named after the martyred cops who laid their own lives in the past years.

The force has adopted a number of measures in these areas particularly in the limits of Sarband, Badaber and Matani police stations to repulse attacks on the public as well as to protect the cops and its establishments.

The cops, however, need more manpower support, bulletproof jackets, helmets and vehicles, effective protection against night thermal scope guns as well as intelligence support. Besides, all the officers and junior cops deployed in troubled areas of Peshawar as well as all the districts of the province need to be provided additional financial benefits as risk allowance for risking their lives during posting in these areas.

Attacks on police and other forces have increased in KP since mid-2021. North and South Waziristan, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan, Khyber and parts of Peshawar have witnessed innumerable attacks after the law and order situation took an ugly turn in the last several months.

Most of the attacks were carried out either on police stations, posts and patrolling vehicles or the policemen fell victim to target killing. Grenades and automatic weapons along with improvised explosive devices were used in most of the attacks. A few suicide attacks were reported recently as well.