The Punjab government has decided to merge Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) Punjab in the proposed Anti-Terrorism Force (ATF) for the province.
The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by the prime minister at his Raiwind residence last week before leaving for the US tour.
The meeting noted that CTD has failed to achieve its objective of identification and arrest of high profile terrorists, their supporters, financers and to foil their plans.
The CTD Additional Inspector General (AIG) Aftab Cheema, who was present in the meeting, while talking to The Express Tribune, confirmed that CTD will be merged in the proposed ATF.
In the meeting, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed speeding up formation of ATF.
According to the sources, PM Nawaz and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif reprimanded AIG Aftab Cheema for not being able to present during the briefing a single case where CTD managed to trace or arrest a terrorist and foil any terrorist activity in the province.
Punjab home secretary, Inspector General of Police and senior officials concerned were present in the meeting.
CTD Punjab was established in 2009 to combat terrorism. Earlier, the Punjab government had converted Criminal Investigation Department (CID) into CTD.
CTD had seven wings including intelligence, operation, investigation, prosecution, research & analysis and technical.
Despite huge budget, human resources and lucrative perks and privileges the CTD has failed to achieve its objective which led to the abolishing of this department, sources said.
Matters of CTD relating to administration, regulation and establishment would be settled according to existing rules and regulations, sources said.
CTD had four police stations – one each in Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan and Rawalpindi. The department was provided with Elite Force teams to bring down high-value terrorists.
The Punjab police and CTD had established Joint Investigations Teams (JITs) in the 36 districts of Punjab for dealing with terrorism cases. Each of these JITs comprised a CTD inspector and an inspector or DSP of the local police of the respective district.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2013.