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Two-thirds of Elite Force being used for VIP security


Apr 2, 2008
Two-thirds of Elite Force being used for VIP security
Anwer Sumra

LAHORE: As many as 685 Elite Police personnel have been deployed to protect the life of political families in the province as they are considered highly trained, skilled and efficient at performing security duties.

According to data available to The Express Tribune, there are 945 troops in the city’s Elite Police including three inspectors, 33 sub-inspectors, 20 assistant sub-inspectors, 292 head constables, 573 constables and 24 women constables.

The force uses as many as 67 vehicles and operates round-the-clock in the city. Twenty vehicles are deployed with the Sharifs, eight with the prime minister’s family, five with the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid’s (PML-Q) Chaudhrys, 10 are not in use yet and the remaining are deployed with other VIPs.

Further bifurcation revealed that 248 elite personnel work for the Sharifs including 71 with Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, 58 at the PML-Nawaz’s chief Nawaz Sharif’s Raiwind residence, 31 with the Punjab CM’s sons Hamza and Salmaan, six with Capt (retd) Safdar Mehmood (MNA), 55 with Mian Nawaz Sharif, nine with the CM’s nephew Imran Yousaf, 10 with the CM’s wife and eight at the CM’s wife’s Gulberg residence.

As many as 71 elite cops are deployed with the family members of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, including 20 with his wife, 34 with his four sons, 10 with the PM’s daughter and seven with the PM himself.

Fifty-nine policemen work with the Chaudhrys, including 22 with Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, eight with his son Shafey, 22 with Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and seven with his son Moonis.

The late governor’s family had 41 elite police force personnel deployed for them.

The Elite Force was established by then Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif in 1997-98 during his first tenure. It is also known as “police commandos”, specialising in counter-terrorist operations and VIP security duties, as well as acting against serious crimes and performing high-risk operations which can’t be carried out by regular police. It was primarily formed as a counterterrorism unit, but over time its duties expanded to VIP escort in 2004.

Members of the Elite Force are trained for six months at the Elite Training Centre in Bedian, Lahore, by Pakistan’s Special Services Group. They receive training in personal combat, martial arts, crowd control, close quarters operations and reconnaissance. They are trained in the use of a range of weapons, including AK-47, MP-5 and grenades. Their arsenal also includes flak jackets and they are often seen in black and green track suits during duty.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2011.

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