The longstanding issue of paying financial incentives to the personnel of Sindh’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) appears to have moved closer to its resolution as a summary in this regard has been dispatched to Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah for final approval.
Officials said on Friday the CTD “is a frontline force against terrorism and its personnel are doing their job despite limited resources, but no special incentive has been given to them for a long time”.
In the line of duty, many of CTD officials have been either martyred or injured in operations against terrorists or in terror attacks. The officials said the long-pending issue of provision of financial incentives for anti-terrorism police personnel has been taken up now, and Sindh Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar has sent a summary, moved by CTD Sindh chief DIG Omer Shahid Hamid, to the provincial home and finance departments.
The summary, which has now been forwarded to the chief minister for final approval, reads, “It is submitted that the Inspector General of Police, Sindh, has forwarded a request regarding provision of financial incentives for the personnel of the Counter Terrorism Department Sindh.”
In his request, the IGP is said to have highlighted the fact that the CTD is a frontline unit dealing with high-profile cases of terrorism involving suicide bombers and dangerous criminals, and that the personnel in pursuance of their duties to detect and crack down on terrorist groups are invariably exposed to the highest level of threat and risk to their lives.
The CTD has achieved remarkable successes since its inception in 2001, and all of these successes have been achieved through the dedication of its officials towards their duties as well as due to the supreme sacrifice of many of their colleagues.
Shuhada of CTD
Thirty-three CTD personnel — an SSP, an inspector and a sub-inspector, three assistant sub-inspectors, seven head constables, 19 constables and one Langri – have embraced martyrdom in Sindh.
But, unfortunately, CTD personnel, in spite of their most hazardous nature of job and meritorious record against terrorists, are not being paid any special financial salary package as is being currently paid to other Sindh police units such as training and inspections, the Rapid Response Force (RRF) and the Special Security Unit (SSU), officials said.
Recently, given the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements, increased focus on terror-financing (TF) cases, TF-related domestic as well as transnational crimes, close coordination with all sister agencies and departments and frequent meetings at NACTA, MoI, MoFA, the role of the CTD Sindh has increased manifold.
In 2008, the chief minister sanctioned a 65 per cent CID Allowance (20 per cent as special pay, 25 per cent as risk allowance and 20 per cent as special allowance) of the basic pay to the officers and officials of the CTD (formerly CID Sindh) vide a finance department letter dated March 15, 2008.
As regards the implementation of New Basic Pay Scale-2015, the CTD allowance stood frozen at the level of Basic Pay Scale-2011 on June 30, 2015, despite the introduction of three new basic pay scales in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Recently, the pay of CTD officials has actually fallen even when compared to the Karachi Range Police and other specialised units of the Sindh police, and is far behind that of the CTD Punjab.
The dedication towards duty on the part of staff posted in the CTD Sindh merits appreciation in the form of financial incentives for efficient work, as witnessed by the generous salary package that the Punjab government has awarded to the CTD personnel there.
In a bid to enhance the effectiveness of the CTD efforts in Sindh, the department is in a process of restructuring and revamping itself on modern lines to act as a lead agency in the province to confront the growing menace of terrorism in a more effective and professional manner.
Thus, the IGP has proposed the following incentive proposal for a special salary package, i.e. a high risk allowance in line with the RRF and the SSU, for all executive and ministerial staff, 20 per cent special pay on current running basic pay, and 20 per cent special allowance on current running basic pay. The sanctioned strength is the CTD Sindh 2,334 and the working strength is 1,292.
In this regard, the total financial implication calculated upon the sanctioned strength of the CTD amounts to Rs337,114, 590.
Officials said the home department, while considering the request of the IGP for allowing a special package to the CTD officers and officials, is of the considered opinion that the CTD staff require attention of the government; therefore, it has recommended that the proposed allowances be allowed with an immediate effect. They added that the summary had been sent to the CM office for final approval.