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On the frontline: Women commandos ready to set foot in the field

By Ehtisham Khan

PESHAWAR: Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s first batch of women commandos from Nowshera Elite Force Training School is now ready to take on enemies of the state.

Almost six months ago, the decision to set-up the province’s first women’s special operations force met with wide acclaim. Since then, 35 officers underwent rigorous training regimes in urban warfare.

Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and IGP Nasir Durrani on Tuesday attended the batch’s passing out parade.

Looking comfortable in the squad attire which includes a paratrooper jacket, Saadia said her resolve remained unshaken over the last six months.

“It is time we stand shoulder to shoulder with our male counterparts to counter militancy,” she told Express News.

Commando Fauzia echoed similar sentiments. “We are capable of handling any untoward situation. Our training has enabled us to tackle all forms of combat scenarios.”

The 11th Elite Force squad comprises cops hailing from different parts of the province, including Peshawar, Mardan and Abbottabad.

Khattak expressed profound delight over the graduation and in his address and press talk he termed the induction critical to the government’s resolve against militancy.

“The determination of these officers is inspiring,” he said. He announced a pay raise and different perks for the newly-trained commandoes – an additional stipend of Rs3,000 per month along with a Rs15,000 special combat allowance.

Talking on the occasion, the IGP said the capability of the squad was not open to debate. “I am hopeful they will perform really well in live operations.”

Durrani said it is the effort of the unsung police force that the province has seen a 55% decline in acts of violence and terror over the past one year.

“These commandos will be handed various assignments and will be posted across the province,” he said, adding at the time of need they can be summoned to any district.

Express Tribune