Peshawar: Mohammad Sharif, 72, has been feeling weak and listless these past few weeks, not so much from the long hot days of fasting in Ramazan, as one would assume, but from losing his only son to a terrorist attack in May this year.
His son Shakirullah, an assistant sub-inspector with the police in Peshawar, was 40 when he was shot dead by unidentified assailants while he was on his way to the office. He was the only child Sharif had. Shakirullah, who had married twice, left behind his two wives and eight children from the two marriages.
“Before Ramazan, I would go to visit the police and the courts to pursue the compensation package but with fasting and the state of my health, the long process tires me out,” said Sharif. “These days, I stay back home, waiting to hear from the authorities.”
According to police sources, families of policemen who laid down their lives fighting terrorism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have to go through a number of official processes and procedures to access the compensation package promised to the legal heirs of fallen cops, often delaying the assistance.
“Only a couple of families of cops who fell to terrorist acts and target killing in 2014-15 have been provided the cash compensation while the rest have yet to get any compensation or jobs promised to the children or the next of kin of martyred policemen,” a police officer told News Lens on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media.
Police officials in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have confirmed that a majority of the sons and brothers of martyred policemen have yet to get jobs in the police as promised by the authorities. Besides, there are families of police martyrs who have not received cash compensation as announced by the provincial government immediately after their death.
Police statistics reveal that 33 policemen lost their lives in terror incidents in 2014 while 26 other fell in the line of duty in 2015. Among them only seven policemen have received compensation while the heirs of rest of them have yet to access compensation promised by the provincial government.
Not a single kin of martyred policemen was recruited under the Shuhada Quota – a quota that ensures children or next of kin of the fallen policemen get recruited in police as Assistant Sub-Inspectors. This has created much unrest among the families of the victims of terrorism.
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ijaz Ahmad told News Lens that the process was “a bit lengthy” and due to domestic disputes among the families of martyred on who should get the assistance package, the heirs face delay in getting compensation.
“Most of the time it take less than a month, however, due to cross verification from the provincial Finance Department, the process can get stretched,” said Ahmad.
The CCPO said that due to a large number of policemen killed in terror incidents, the children and next of kin couldn’t get jobs in the police department because only a few positions were available at any given time.
“The police department does not have vacant vacancies to match the large number of martyrs in KP police,” said Ahmad. “However, we advise the children or brothers of martyred policemen to accept jobs as constables and once the ASI posts become available, they will be promoted.”
Requesting anonymity, a police official said that Senior Patrolling Officer Johar Azam (number 796) embraced martyrdom on January, 14, 2014 in a blast in Regi Model Town, but his family members had not received a single penny of compensation yet.
Other police victims of terrorism whose families have yet to receive compensation and jobs are: Javed Khan (number 3871) killed on 18, 07, 2014 in a bomb blast, Munfar Ali (1827), Adnan (1456), Majid Ali Khan (1046), Farooq Khan (1506), Shenshah (754), Sub Inspector Abdul Sattar, Head Constable Shoukat Kamal, Sartaj Khan, Head Constable Noor Muhammad, Javed Khan (512), Baaz Muhammad (2697), Ihsan Ullah (589), Head Constable Muhammad Nasir, Head Constable Aslam Khan, Zakir Khan, Zafar Ali Shah, Mukhtiar Khan, Shah Sawood, Anwar Khan, Yasir Khan, Sunjab Khan, Fakhr-e-Alam, Hayat Ali and Sub Inspector Ashrat Yar.
The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has directed the provincial government on January 15, 2015 to increase the quota of ASI seats reserved in the police department for children of policemen that died in terrorist attacks.
According to police data, in 2007, 14 cops were killed in terrorism related acts in provincial capital with only one of their relatives getting a job in the police. In 2008, 22 policemen were killed. Only five heirs of the deceased get jobs. In 2009, 54 cops killed and only seven of their kin were recruited. In 2010, among relatives of 28 martyred policemen, only three get jobs. In 2011, 30 policemen were killed and only six of their kin got jobs. In 2012, 38 policemen killed and only four of their relatives were recruited. In 2013, 42 policemen were killed when only three relatives got jobs.
Official statistics reveal that of the 33 policemen that lost their lives in terror-related incidents in 2014, only seven policemen received compensation. Heirs of the 26 cops martyred in 2015 have yet to get compensation in shape of services or cash. Not a single kin of the policemen killed in 2015 has been recruited in the police department under the Shuhada Quota.
Among them is Shahkirullah, son of Mohammad Sharif. Sharif is waiting to hear from the police authorities to compensate his son’s families for having lost their breadwinner.
“After Ramazan, I will once again start my efforts to get compensation for my eight grandsons,” says Sharif. “The assistance will go a long way in ensuring a good future for them.”