Just spoke with IGP Punjab. Punjab Police Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) is parading out its first batch of Counter-Terror Force (CTF) with 421 officers trained for 9 months. This will be a purely civilian lead force trained with the help of Turkish Counter-Terror Police Force Officers. 43 Turkish CTF officers worked in Pakistan as Instructors over the past one year. More batches will roll out in future bringing the total operational strength to 1500.
I naturally asked that Punjab Police already had Commando Units; I have been told that it is Elite Force and this new CTF is a stand alone Anti-Terror Unit with its own Administrative Secretariat and Intelligence collection and Investigation capacities.
I have been told that Counter Terrorism Dept. (CTD) will have three wings: Intelligence, Operations and Investigations. I assume that CTF will coordinate with ISI, IB and FIA for the purposes of Intelligence and Investigations.
Inaugration ceremony is tomorrow near Lahore to be attended by PM Nawaz and Military Chief. Gen. Raheel Shareef.
We hope that CTD and CTF will be groomed as an internationally standard professional police force and well thought out institutional firewalls will be created to keep them safe from rampant politicization that mars the reputation and workings of Punjab Police. Amen!