Islamabad: The last thing Pakistani security agencies need is their own people carrying out `inside jobs` on behalf of militants, a Pakistani daily said on Monday following the arrest of a police official who supported the Pakistani Taliban.
"Chilling details have emerged how extremist groups, especially the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), are now using serving policemen to eliminate their colleagues who are deemed as a threat to these anti-state organisations," said an editorial in the News International.
The arrest of an inspector of the Anti-Violent Crime Cell in Karachi last week comes at a time when the entire country is on a high-alert because of the forthcoming General Elections.
The inspector, who is believed to be a supporter of the TTP, has confessed to killing an assistant sub-inspector and other fellow policemen. The assistant sub inspector who was gunned down in January this year was actively involved in operations against militants.
The editorial said: "It has also been reported that the inspector has revealed during interrogations that several other policemen are also serving as moles for militant groups."
"It is a disturbing development because in their war against terror the last thing that our security agencies need is their own people carrying out `inside jobs` on behalf of the militants," it added.
The daily warned that the inspector`s arrest and his confession could be just the tip of the iceberg.
"There are fears that the infiltration of militants` supporters and moles in the police ranks is quite deep. Stories of policemen becoming partners in crime are not new. It is an open secret that even in various gang wars that have seen several parts of Karachi being held hostage by criminals, bad cops siding with various warring groups have been involved," it said.
"The cop-criminal nexus is a pressing issue that needs to be tackled on a war footing."
The editorial called for a "ruthless `operation clean-up` within the police ranks".
"...It won`t be an easy job but it is something that has to be done. Otherwise the chances of a police force infected by `black sheep` crushing heavily-armed militants are bleak," it added.