Graduates of Elite Police Training Centre form front line against terrorism

By Javed Khan

Female police commandos training in Nowshera in October learn how to use a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. [Javed Khan]

Commandos take part in training in Nowshera in October. [Javed Khan]

A commando in Nowshera learns how to use a heavy machine gun in October. [Javed Khan]

Commandos in Nowshera receive training on how to rappel from a multi-storey building in October. [Javed Khan]

A female commando fires a heavy machine gun during training in Nowshera in October. [Javed Khan]

Police commandos in Nowshera in October exhibit their skills from physical training. [Javed Khan]

A female commando in Nowshera climbs a wall during training in October. [Javed Khan]

 A group of commandos exhibit their skills in October in Nowshera. [Javed Khan]

Female commandos take part in training in Nowshera in October. [Javed Khan]

PESHAWAR -- The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Police's Elite Police Training Centre (EPTC) is continuing to produce commandos trained to fight terrorists and hardened criminals across the province.

Spread out over 275 acres of land in Hakim Abad town of Nowshera District, the complex enables police officers of the KP Police's Elite Force -- both men and women -- and others to learn martial arts, attend lectures and take part in physical training.

Established in 2014, the EPTC is the first centre of its kind to train commandos to better meet the challenge of terrorism in the province and the rest of the country.

"Currently 419 policemen and policewomen are undergoing specialised commando training at the EPTC to fight terrorism and crime across KP," Mohammad Saeed Wazir, the outgoing commandant of the Elite Force of KP Police, said in October.


Female commandos in October take part in training in Nowshera District on how to use a grenade launcher. [Javed Khan]

Of the 419 trainees, 219 are in basic elite training, 81 in training for assistant sub-inspectors and 40 in training for the Special Combat Unit (SCU), a small unit of highly trained commandos within the Elite Force, he said. The remainder are taking part in various other courses.

"The EPTC has so far trained 11,754 commandos, including 68 female commandos," said Wazir.

The courses include specialised training for the SCU, the Basic Elite Course, the Operational Command Course, VIP protection course, advanced sniper course and others, he added.

Professional commandos

"The personnel of the Elite Force trained by the EPTC have proved their mettle in operations against terrorists and saboteurs in the past few years," said KP Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sanaullah Abbasi.

The Elite Force has inflicted heavy losses on terrorists over the past years to protect its province, he said.

"The Elite Force is one of the best units of the police force, which has rendered great sacrifices for peace in the province and the country," said Abbasi.

The EPTC is producing highly trained professional commandos to go after terrorists and hardened criminals, he said.

"The Elite Force is the commando force of the KP Police, and its personnel receive training in protection against suicide attacks, identification of suicide bombers, vehicle assaults and urban warfare," said Col. (ret.) Khalid Jamil, the principal of the EPTC.

Apart from heavy and light machine guns and various kinds of pistols, the personnel of the Elite Force learn how to use rocket launchers, hand grenades and other kinds of weapons, he said.

Specialised training

Apart from the commandos, the EPTC has trained senior police officers as well as more than 500 rescuers of Rescue 1122.

"The KP Police delivered basic physical training to the personnel of Rescue 1122 in a professional manner," said Khatir Ahmad, director general of Rescue 1122.

The training at the EPTC will further improve the performance and physical fitness of the rescuers, who, like police, respond to emergencies, he said.

More-specialised training awaits the commandos of Elite Force who join the highly trained SCU.

"The SCU is the ... contingent of specially trained commandos who obtain training at the EPTC to deal with an extraordinary situation in any part of the province," said Col. (ret.) Sanaullah Khan, the commander of the SCU.

The SCU's over 200 members receive the toughest training to play the role of first responders in case of suicide attacks, hostage-taking situations, kidnappings and other sensitive operations.

"The Elite Force and the SCU have played an important role in operations against terrorists across the province over the last many years," said Imran Bukhari, a Peshawar-based journalist.

The EPTC is playing a key role in giving specialised training to the commandos of the KP Police for peace in the province and the country, he said.

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