RAWALPINDI: It was a proud moment for the Pakistani women when the first policewoman took up one of the most dreaded job of a bomb disposal expert.
Atia Batool will be part of a six-member Rawalpindi Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) after completing a four-week course under the supervision of American experts. During bher training she will learn defusing IEDs and suicide jackets besides identifying the nature of blast and material used in any explosive device.
Rawalpindi BDS was formed in 2009 amid rising incidents of terrorism. Foreign donors had provided the basic equipment like bomb disposal suit, X-ray machine for scanning, fiberscope and water disruptor. American antiterrorism experts had trained four officials of the Rawalpindi police as master-trainers.
Head Constable Waqar Hussain who is also the bomb disposal squad head, having undergone the training, has been deputed at Police Training College Sihala. Later, two more officials, Qadeer Ahmed constable and Sadaqat Ali constable were added to the bomb disposal squad where they are dispensing their responsibilities.
The bomb disposal squad of the Rawalpindi police as such was composed of six experts. According to sources, recently appointed CPO Afzal Ahmed in Rawalpindi had suggested appointing a lady constable in the squad. Following the directions, SSP Operations Muhammad bin Ashraf asked officers to send list of policewomen willing to take up the job. Batool, a constable at women police staion, was among the shortlisted candidates.
Once selected, Constable Batool was sent to Sihala to train under BDS in-charge Waqar Hussain.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2018.