Along the North West Frontier is spread a force which moves up & down & down & up from one desolate post to another, ready to take the field at ten minutes notice. They are always half in and half out of a difficulty somewhere along the mountainous lines. Their lives are as hard as their muscles but the papers never say anything about them”.
There has been enormous increase in terrorist activities in recent past in this part of country. Fighting terrorists has become an upheaval task. The law-enforcers in their role to curb this menace are required to remain convincingly ahead in the eternal race between the terrorists and the law-enforcers. Frontier constabulary is sometimes confused with Frontier Corps primarily because both the forces use the abbreviation F.C. The attack on Bannu Jail has again brought into lime-light the importance of Frontier Constabulary (F.C).
With a glorious past and largely remaining out of public eye, Frontier Constabulary has served the nation with utmost dedication. Today Frontier Constabulary is the only force to offer sacrifices for the Homeland right from its commandant to sepoys. The unsung heroes of the frontier have always been on the beck and call of the nation.
Frontier Constabulary was created in 1913 AD when Border Military Police (BMP) was abolished. The Mehmond Militia of Shubqadar was made part of it in 1917 AD.
Originally, it was aimed at stopping incursions and raids from the tribal areas. FC accomplishes its basic function by dividing the area of responsibility into FC districts FC Districts have an intricate network of Forts, Posts and Pickets located strategically along border of the tribal / settled areas. Presently we have 17 FC Districts and 103 Posts stretching from Gilgit to Karachi .FC has its presence in Kpk, Sindh Gilgat Baltistan and FATA.
The Constabulary was first put to test by the British authorities outside its area of operation when it was sent to Bihar where a sectarian conflict was posing challenge to the colonial administration. The ragtag force won laurels by its efforts.
The creation of Pakistan provided a new zeal to the Jawans of this force. The devoted Muslims from Phuston tribes served with the Army on the Sialkot border from 1947 to 1951. Armed with sense of sacrifice for the new Muslim state, they were put in a new role.
In 1948 the constabulary was sent to perform duties in Gilgat. The FC with its 10 platoons performed efficiently in the terrain which was new to it. Today FC has a full-fledge District in Gilgat.
Shafqat Mirza in his book “Police Shehri Muashray ka Aham Bazo” has narrated an interesting event in history of this force. In 1951, Frontier Constabulary was asked to serve in Karachi so that it might set an example for police as a devoted force. The experience of urban policing was new to the force which consists of Jawans hailing from mountainous areas of Khyber Paktunkhawa and FATA.
Over the years the role of FC has changed dramatically due to emergence of new challenges. Now, its original function has been overshadowed by an increasing involvement in the internal security duties and protection of vital installation as well as embassies.
Besides assisting Federal and Provincial Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) in conducting operations against miscreants, it is also providing security of Diplomats. In addition to the aforementioned functions FC is actively engaged in providing security to Vital Govt Installations, Security of VIPs / VVIPs, Security of Multi National Companies (MNCs) operating across the country and most importantly lunching independent operations against miscreants.
Pastawana is strategically very important for peace in Peshawar and adjoining districts. It had become a hub of miscreants posing threat to the provincial capital. FC launched a successful operation against the miscreants in Pastawana, FR Peshawar in Feb, 2010. The operation proved to be a success and FC remained in the area for 02 months. The militants retook the area after the withdrawal of FC.
In Sep, 2011 the FC re-entered the area under the order of the Government and on the request of HQ 11 Corps Peshawar. FC is still holding the area.
In April, 2011 on the request of the Provincial Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and with the permission of the Ministry of Interior, Frontier Constabulary carried-out this operation against the militants in Kala Dhaka, district Mansehra and cleaned the area from the militants with huge recoveries of Arms. One hundred and sixty eight (168) militants were arrested who were later on handed over to the Army authorities at Batagram. Frontier Constabulary remained there for two months to establish peace. Afterwards, the Provincial and Federal governments declared the area of the Kala Dhaka as a settled district by the name of Tor Ghar. This was a big achievement of the Frontier Constabulary, as the area remained a no-man’s-land since the British times. It is an example of successful integration of a tribal area into a settle Districts.
Besides being on the front in the war on terror and ensuring peace through sacrifices, FC has also played a role in making environment conducive for economic activities.
MOL- an oil and gas multinational company – is exploring oil gas in the area of Gorgori, district Karak and the locals have always been a headache for the administration of MOL company. One day in May, 2010, they attacked the company and snatched Arms from the security guards of the company. On the request of the Government, the Frontier Constabulary carried-out the operation, recovered the snatched Arms and vehicle and arrested 180 suspects and handed them over to the local Police. It was a successful operation and the multinational company was set to work. The Frontier Constabulary has been successful in supervising the PSDP projects. The Frontier Constabulary is providing whole time security to different multinational companies in the country and Hydro Power Projects in Hazara and Malakand divisions. All the Hydro Power Projects are operated by the Chinese engineers.
Frontier Constabulary has come a long way from a rag-tag force guarding the frontiers to a force which has proved itself in urban areas like Karachi and Islamabad. The Hospitable and brave Pathans from mountains are today on the forefront in war on terror.
The Article is contributed by Arif. S. Wazir
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