Unfettered sale of police uniforms making life easy for terrorists in Lahore

     The armed attackers, who stormed the Jinnah Hospital in Lahore on Monday killing eight persons in their bid to free a terrorist, were in police uniforms, which shows how easy it still is to obtain them in Pakistan despite the authorities' vow to check the menace. The attack on the Jinnah hospital was not the first instance where terrorists used police uniforms. During the attack on the Police Training School in Manawan in March 2009 and on the brazen attack on the Pakistan Army Headquarters in Rawalpindi, militants also used police uniforms to disguise their identity. Following the two terror incidents last year, the authorities had ordered a crackdown on illegal sale of police uniforms, badges and boots, but there has been little action till now. On the records, there are three outlets in Lahore located near the Naulakha Police Station, where one can easily get any article related to uniforms. A mere verbal verification is needed from Naulakha Police Station if someone wants to buy a complete police uniform with all kinds of badges, belt and other accessories from the shops, The News reports. Now, many more such shops which deal in police uniforms and accessories have come up in various parts of the city such as Qila Gujjar Singh Police Lines, Manawan Police Training School, Qurban Police Lines, Old Anarkali, and Krishan Nagar. When enquired about this unchecked sale of uniforms, Naulakha Station House Officer (SHO) Ejaz Kamboh said the police is strictly monitoring the sale of police uniform and other articles. "Owners of all such shops have been directed to get verification from the police station concerned before selling a complete uniform," Kamboh said. However, he admitted that no written verification order was being given to the shopkeepers.

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