Elite Police Insignia
|Active||1998 - present|
|Type||Special Forces/Light Infantry|
|Role||Special Operations Force, Domestic Counter-Terrorism and Law Enforcement|
|Engagements||2009 attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team, Lahore police academy attack|
|Additional Inspector-General of Police, Elite Police|
The Elite Punjab Police, also known as the "Elite Force" or "Police Commandos", is a branch of the Punjab Police specializing in Counter-Terrorist operations and VIP security duties, as well as acting against serious crime and performing high-risk operations which can't be carried out by the regular police. It was formed in 1998 as a counterterrorism unit, but over time its duties expanded to VIP escort.
The Elite Force was created on the order of the then Punjab Chief Minister Shabaz Sarhif in 1997–1998. In 2004, more funds were allocated for its expansion, and 5000 new personnel were inducted. New checkpoints for curbing street crime were created across Punjab and manned by the Elite Force. Their work drew attention in the wake of the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, when retired general Pervez Musharraf criticized security around the team. Musharraf remarked that
If this was the elite force I would expect them to have shot down those people who attacked them. The reaction, their training should be on a level that if anyone shoots toward the company they are guarding, in less than three seconds they should shoot the man down.
The Elite Police Force is headed by the Additional Inspector-General of Police, Elite Police Force, Punjab, Lahore. During operations, they are headed by an officer trained in a "Basic Elite" course.
The Elite Force is used in a range of special operations including "high-risk searches, raids and rescue operations". Members of the Elite Force are trained for six months at the Elite Police Training School (EPTS) at Badian, Lahore, by Pakistan's Special Service Group in personal combat, martial arts, crowd control, close quarters battle (CQB), and reconnaissance. They are trained in the use of a range of weapons, including the AK-47, Glock Pistol, MP-5, and grenades. They can use different kind of weapons like Pakistan-made G3, machine-guns etc. Their arsenal also included flak jackets. They are trained in martial arts and they have to face very bloody boxing fights during training period.[dead link] They are often seen in black and green track suits.
- MP5A3 SMG
- HK G3
- Remington 870
- Glock 17
- Steyr AUG rifle
- Beretta 92FS
- Armalite AR-10 rifle
- M4 carbine
- Night vision goggles
- "India condemns police academy attack". Dawn.com. 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- "How Pakistan academy attack started". BBC. 2009-03-30. Retrieved 2009-04-01.
- "Sri Lanka cricket team attacked". Yahoo news. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
- "Elite Force". Retrieved 2009-03-07.[dead link]
- "Punjab earmarks more funds for Elite Force". 2004-03-13. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
- Pakistan Cricket Ambush Controversy Focuses on Security, Voice of America, 2009-03-5
- Rehman Khan, Fasihur (2009-03-05). "'Elite force should have killed terrorists'". Gulfnews. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
- "Salman Taseer gunned down in Islamabad". The Nation (Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan). January 4, 2011.
- "Gujrat Police official website, Standard Operating Procedures".[dead link]. Retrieved 2009-03-08.
- Punjab Police, Elite Force Official website, retrieved 17 March 2009
- "Sri Lanka cricket team attacked". Retrieved 2009-03-11.