Expanded VVIP Protection in Pakistan Need of the Hour
* Newly elected politicians demanding Interior Ministry prepare their
personal security plans with input from these trained officers
By Shahnawaz Khan, Daily Times, March 25, 2008
LAHORE: Twenty-three Pakistani law-enforcement personnel, who in mid-March completed a VIP Protection Course conducted under the United States’ Anti-Terrorist Assistance (ATA) programme, are ready to take charge of the security of VVIPs in the country, Interior Ministry sources told Daily Times on Monday.
The 23 security personnel participated in an intensive three-week course designed to impart the skills required to protect national leaders and key facilities from attack. Familiarisation with cutting-edge technology, methods of sweeping an area before the arrival of VVIPs, and investigating and preserving the crime scene were some of the main features of the training.
Caretaker Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz confirmed that the security personnel had completed the training course, and said the majority of these trained officers would further train more law enforcement personnel in all four provinces. He highlighted that, as the wave of terrorism continued to lash the country, a number of important personalities had been threatened by various groups. The caretaker interior minister said the project would continue, with the aim of training the maximum possible number of law enforcement personnel in the latest theories and technologies.
Demands: Interior Ministry sources said several newly elected politicians had sent demands “through various channels” for the preparation of their personal security plans with the input of these specially trained security personnel. Politicians from the incoming opposition, who had received threats from various groups, had also been “using their contacts” to demand the same, the sources added.
The law enforcement personnel completed the training in mid-March and received completion certificates from the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne W Patterson. The Punjab Police department jointly organised the ceremony with the US Department of State Diplomatic Security Service Programme. On the occasion, Ambassador Patterson had said: “there is no more important task in Pakistan today than to stop the scourge of terrorism.
“A small group of misguided individuals must not be allowed to deter the moderate, mainstream majority from building the prosperous and democratic future they envision for Pakistan.”Earlier, officials of various law enforcement agencies also completed various short courses delivered by US as well as Pakistani trainers at the Police Training College in Sehala.
The ATA programme has been ongoing in Pakistan since 2003. It provides training, equipment and technology targeted to respond most effectively to the evolving security situation. It builds the capacity of civilian security and law enforcement personnel in dealing with terrorism. In such courses, the trainees learn about the most effective means of bomb detection, crime scene investigation, airport and building security, maritime protection, and VIP protection.
Also see Previous post of Watandost on the Subject:
Security and Intelligence: Need for Pakistan Secret Service - Hassan Abbas