PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police have formed special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams to fight militancy amid growing attacks.

The initiative comes as the police department analysed the security situation and found out that two-thirds of the nationwide militant attacks took place in KP, according to a senior official.

“Our [police] analysis reveals that around 70 per cent of militant attacks have been carried out against us. A total of 154 casualties have been reported in such attacks this year compared to 63 in 2022,” a senior official told Dawn.

He said SWAT teams were raised to deal with “high-risk situations”, while a centralised core intelligence wing for efficient intelligence operation and field intelligence units were established at regional and district levels for localised insight.

Official says two-thirds of nationwide militant attacks reported in KP

The police official said the centralised core intelligence wing streamlined the investigative approach.

He said the police department had restructured the counter-terrorism department with a counter-terrorism finance unit.

“The CTD is led by an additional inspector general. Also, we have appointed two deputy inspector-generals for efficient departmental functioning, while seven experienced officers from Police Services of Pakistan are leading regions,” he said.

The official said the police department had been equipped with surveillance drones with long-range capabilities and high-resolution thermal imaging to monitor the militants’ entrance to and their routes in the mountainous terrain and that durable armored personnel vehicles and armored personnel carriers were deployed for safe transportation of troops.

He added that APCs made in the Heavy Industries Taxila and used in remote and vulnerable areas were equipped with jammers to prevent the use of improvised explosive devices.

The official also said the department was focusing on data collection and analysis with the data collection unit gathering information and the data mining unit providing insights.

He said for the current year, the department was focusing on the strengthening of new units.

The official said the department planned to procure geo-fencing devices, video-conferencing systems, signal sharks, thermal weapon sight, ballistic goggles, man pack locators and a global system for mobile communication.

He said a multi-layer security mechanism, including facial detection/recognition cameras, automatic number plate recognition, e-tag readers, pop-up barriers and turnstile gates besides identification and blacklisting of unwanted individuals through facial recognition, would be “matured” in future through artificial intelligence-based systems.

“Advanced digital forensic gadgets for monitoring social media platforms is what we plan for 2023,” he said, adding it was being done with the collaboration of the European Union, USAID, AUSAID and the US Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2023

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