Paktika police ranks thinned by ‘ghost personnel’
SHARANA (Pajhwok): Residents claim security in various districts of southeastern Paktika province has been assigned to “ghost policemen,” who are paid salaries but exist only on paper, a claim rejected by officials.
The deputy head of the provincial council, Nimatullah Babri, told Pajhwok Afghan News that “ghost policemen” thinned the ranks of national and local police in a number of districts.
He said the no-shows had threatened the security situation of many areas, adding that the issue had been discussed with the provincial officials who had assured to resolve it soon.
“Very soon we with security officials will start an inspection of all check posts in Paktika,” the public representative said.
Residents of the province also said a number of areas were being protected by imaginary police personnel.
A resident of Argun district, Abdul Khaliq, said a 50-member local police force had been deployed in the district, but 20 of them were manning posts and the rest were ghost personnel.
He claimed salaries of the ghost policemen were pocketed by senior local police officials.
A resident of Janikhel district’s Janikhel village, Syed Anwar, said there were policemen who had never seen their duty sites, but they regularly received salaries.
He said the ghost police personnel were the main reason behind insecurity in most parts of the province.
A security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed the issue and said ghost police existed on the registers at many posts. He said the issue needed to be tackled urgently.
But Paktika police chief Brig. Gen. Zarawar Zahid rejected the claims as baseless, saying such policemen did not exist in the province.
“Paktika is a border province and many problems exist here, but we have controlled these problems with the help of police.”
He said every post had been deployed police as needed to maintain security and control problems.
Thousands of "ghost" security personnel are believed paid salaries across the country but they only exist on paper.