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ISLAMABAD: The Counter-Terrorism Force (CTF) of the capital police started functioning on Tuesday.

Speaking at the passing-out ceremony of the first batch of 380 officials, Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal said the CTF would increase the specialisations, skills and professionalism of the police. The police acted as a frontline force against terrorism, he added.

For many years the country had become weaker economically and plunged into darkness. Besides, investors were not investing in the country. It happened due to the disturbed security situation and weaker economic policies, said the minister.

With operations such as Zarb-i-Azb and Raddul Fasaad against militants and terrorists and the National Action Plan (NAP), Pakistan made the terrorists weaker, the minister stated.

Now the terrorists are carrying out a few cowardly acts but we are chasing them. Action against the terrorists would continue till they are totally rooted out from the country, he said.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Sultan Azam Temuri said the new force would be working on the lines of the CTF Punjab.

The force will be responsible for collecting and disseminating information besides monitoring activities of religious seminaries, suspected people and those included in the Fourth Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act.

It will also deal with extremism, violent extremism, sectarianism, militancy and terrorism.

The force got specialised training from the Elite Training School Lahore and a team of the Special Services Group (SSG), the IGP added.

The CTF has been constituted with the strength of 970 officials.

The IGP said 45 officials of the force were imparted trained on intelligence gathering at the Intelligence Bureau (IB) Academy Islamabad while a group of 32 officials got sniper training.

In future, the force will also get training from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, CTD Multan, Special Forces Chirat.

The CTF personnel on the occasion demonstrated their skills. The CTF also conducted a flag march in the capital late in the evening.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2018