View Full Version : US-aided Rs 1.1bn system to combat terror, crime

19 Aug 05,, 06:54
US-aided Rs 1.1bn system to combat terror, crime

By Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: With the support of the United States, the government has launched Rs 1.1 billion worth automated fingerprint identification system (AFIS) to effectively combat terrorist activities and battle organised crimes both within the country and outside.

To be completed in two years, the project would enable the police at federal, provincial and district levels to instantly identify suspects and probe serious crimes without wasting much time.

Washington, which has committed $10 million grant as its share in the Rs 1.1 billion project already approved by Ecnec and CDWP (central development working party), is providing the modern automated fingerprints equipment.

Most of the equipments, it is said, provided by Lockheed Martin USA has already arrived while the recruitment and training of relevant staff is underway. According to Interior Ministry sources, the project is aimed at improving the quality of criminal investigations, which would help the police in combating serious organised crimes and making the delivery of justice more efficient and evidence based.

Through this project the police down to district level would be provided necessary automated fingerprint infrastructure that would be connected to provincial and federal set-ups for instant comparison or identification of criminals through fingerprints.

This online connectivity would enable different law-enforcement agencies to share the facility for the purpose of probing terrorist and heinous crime by utilising the fingerprint database. The data would enable the law- enforcers to reach to the suspect through the details of the persons attached with the fingerprints.

In the first phase, which is likely to be completed by December 2005, the central site of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) headquarters will be provided online connectivity with the four multi-function workstations (MFWSs) at the provincial headquarters. These MFWSs will have automated fingerprint system installed.

In the second phase these provincial workstations will then be brought online with 52 remote terminals (RTs) located at each district headquarters of 52 districts. The second phase would complete by end June 2006. In the third phase the remaining districts could be covered by bringing them online with the multi-function workstations.

Besides providing the infrastructure, a comprehensive training programme has been designed to create specialists amongst police who could understand the use of fingerprints system. The fingerprint experts to be called fingerprint technicians would be trained to take ten prints and latent fingerprints from the scene of crime. The AFIS would include the fingerprints and related details of all the criminals and suspects. The AFIS is said to be a major initiative of the national police bureau of the interior ministry. This project, it is believed, would improve the police investigations manifold particularly because of the government’s recent decision to automate each and every police station of the country.

The government has recently approved an ambitious Rs 1.4 billion project aimed at automation of complete policing record including the crime details in all 1,350 police stations of 120 districts of Pakistan. To be initiated from capital police stations and intended to be completely implemented all over Pakistan in 36 months, the project would help create an easy accessible countrywide database of all criminals, crime registered, absconders etc besides the details of police officials and their career details. Project named as Police Record and Office Management Information System (PROMIS), was also prepared by the National Police Bureau of the Interior Ministry.

This puts paid to the oft claimed posts that Pakistan does not get US aid.

It also indicates that Pakistan has much to be grateful to the US for ensuring cleaning of its society free of Islamofascists.

It will also allow the Musharraf govt to check on any putsch or coup that maybe in the offing.