Bullets of knowledge to end terrorism
Mian Saifur Rehman


The first impression formed on seeing the physically and mentally agile 421 corporals of Counter-Terrorism Force (CTF) in Punjab was that the word corporal has not been chosen by the Army trainers and commanders to tally with forces’ ranks but to inflict corporal punishment on terrorists.

It was indeed very thoughtful of prime minister’s and Punjab chief minister’s deputies to invite editors, anchors and columnists to view the passing out parade of the 1st batch of these corporals. The background theory behind this invitation appears to be ‘seeing is believing’ i.e ‘see it for yourself as to what qualitative improvements have come about in the police force in Punjab especially vis-à-vis the escalation and sophistication in acts of terrorism. The other purpose seems to be focusing on ‘hearing is believing’ as the oath taken by the CTF commandoes that included 16 female corporals was so encouraging and inspiring that made the audience feel that they are the securest people in the world who just can’t be subdued by terrorists, what to talk of getting killed at their hands. Now the people of Pakistan and their innocent children whom Punjab CM quite rightly likened to yet-to-bloom flowers need not feel insecure as, according to Shahbaz Sharif, the bullet of knowledge as well as anti-corruption, anti-ignorance and anti-bigotry bullets are going to hunt them down and eliminate these enemies of humanity. And to quote Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, “these extremists and terrorists will not be able to find any safe place in any corner of the country”.

This level of confidence and the specialised, high-standard training in combat operations, most modern investigation techniques including collection of DNA samples and capability of immediate transfer of data to labs and scientific-cum-forensic analysis centres through Android machines speak of the seriousness and commitment of the state apparatus, even though it has come after the belated realization caused by one of the biggest human tragedies i.e the merciless killing of Peshawar schoolchildren.

It is for sure the resolve of the state and not of one personality or entity as also acknowledged by both the PM and the CM in their speeches in which the contribution of all the institutions including the judiciary was appreciated.

At first instance, it could be inferred that the PM’s resolve to wipe out (“weed out”, to quote Shahbaz Sharif) terrorism from this land owes to the strength, firm resolve and clarity of thought shown by the armed forces under the command of COAS General Raheel Sharif. No doubt, this factor is the main source of strength for the government more so for the people particularly because General Sharif and his team of commanders and the entire rank and file of the armed forces have no two opinions on the question of complete extinction of terrorism from this society that has lot of potential to grow into “one of the most prosperous nations of the world”, as per the Punjab CM.

People have now started feeling more confident that Pak Army being excellently trained and equipped even much more than many armies of the world, will extricate them out of this misery and this curse for all times to come. And they are now equally confident that given the political leadership’s reliance on sane calculations and analysis and given the establishment of a professionally competent CTF, they will soon be breathing in an atmosphere of total peace and tranquility.

One important thing that has also been noted with interest is the training of Counter-Terror corporals in the intelligence work by intelligence unit of 4 Corps, Lahore under the directive of Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Naveed Zaman. Being equipped with this technique, it would become easier to nip the evil in the bud before it comes to a head and cause mass destruction. Corporals were witnessed moving in the stopgap/mock streets for the purpose of gathering intelligence in the guise of street vendors, beggars and entertainers (even as eunuchs) exactly in the manner in which such intelligence activities are conducted by army intelligence officials.

The most unforgettable thing in this entire achievement is the role played by Turkish Police that imparted training in a number of modern and successful policing techniques. And the courage and commitment instilled by trainers and guides from the SSG wing of Army is an added advantage.