‘Security’ clearance: K-P government to shut down 27 private firms

‘Security’ clearancePESHAWAR: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has finalised a list of around 27 security companies whose licences will be revoked for their failure to present solicited documents by the deadline.

Law enforcement agencies have been taken on board for launching an operation against them, revealed sources in the home department.Against the backdrop of a series of bank robberies in which security guards acted as facilitators, the provincial government decided to verify the firms’ licences. Sources told  Media that around 50 security companies were issued licences, however, the current setup, keeping in view the increasing incidents of bank robberies, had directed security companies to contact the home department and submit all the required documents within the given deadline.

The home and tribal affairs department had asked security companies to provide information about the guards they hire and whether they had been cleared by the police as well as details on the kind of weapons they carry. More than half the security agencies failed to provide the information, out of around 50 licensed firms.According to the documents, a copy of which is available with Media, 14 of the 27 security companies do not have offices in the province and operate from other parts of the country, while there is a firm which is not even registered with the K-P government.

When contacted, Secretary Home and Tribal Affairs K-P Muhammad Azam Khan confirmed the report. He said most of the security agencies had violated the Renewed Arms Policy 2011, promulgated for the regulation of arms business and security companies. Data of security guards and even the weapons they use needs to be brought into the notice of the government.

He said the decision was taken after an increase in robbery cases in which security guards were involved, a number of whom were proclaimed offenders. They had been hired without background checks by unlicensed security companies.“We brought the issue to the notice of cabinet members during a meeting and it was decided that strict action should be taken against unlicensed security companies,” said the home secretary. – TheTribune