Police want end to gifts from visiting dignitaries

March 03, 2014 - 4:51:05 am
ISLAMABAD: Senior officers of the Islamabad police have showed displeasure over visiting foreign dignitaries’ practice of giving gifts and cash awards to policemen deployed on their security and protocol duties.

According to sources in the police, the Central Police Office in a letter on February 28 requested the Foreign Office to approach all the embassies and foreign missions in the capital and ask them to stop the practice of giving gifts and cash to the policemen.

“Such practice is badly hurting the self-respect of a majority of the policemen, including senior officers,” the letter stated.

“The gifts and cash awards are usually given to the police officials after the dignitaries got satisfied over the protocol and security provided to them,” the officers said, adding it seemed like “customers giving tips to waiters in restaurants and hotels.”

But if the police officials refuse the gifts, it would seem awkward and is also against diplomatic norms, they said. If any policeman is found accepting gifts after the Foreign Office formulates a policy and conveys it to the visiting dignitaries, “strict departmental action will be taken against them, “ they added.

“It is our job to provide security and protocol to the visiting dignitaries and for that we are getting salary from the government,” the officers said.

It may be mentioned that the policemen who performed security duties during the visits of foreign delegates and heads of governments are given cash awards by the visitors, especially from the Middle Eastern countries.

Saudi king during his visit to Pakistan in 2006 gave handsome cash in American dollars to the then senior police officers, the sources said. But the cash did not reach the police officials who had performed duties during the king’s visit.

Likewise, the Chinese prime minister during his visit to Islamabad in December 2010 gave cash award of $200 per policeman and officers deployed on his security duty.

But at the end, only Rs50,000 were distributed among the police personnel — less than Rs500 per official.