Peshawar - New Tourism Police force was formally launched on Thursday to provide better security and services to the tourists at the scenic places in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The launching ceremony was held at the Arena Hall of Qayyum Sports Complex, Peshawar.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Culture and Tourism Authority (KPCTA) Director General Abid Wazir and Commandant Tourism Police Gul Said Afridi were the chief guests while KPCTA Director Yousaf Ali, General Manager Planning and Marketing Hayat Ali Shah, Deputy Commandant Shaukat Ali and others attended the ceremony.

Around 182 out of 200 recruits from various districts were provided tourism police uniform and shoes, who will undergo a two-day training session.

Speaking on the occasion, KPCTA DG Abid Wazir said that personnel of Tourism Police would exhibit exemplary character and manners while helping and dealing the tourists at scenic spots of the province. He said that the young police recruits were the positive image of the province to better facilitate and serve the foreign as well as domestic tourists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Tourism Police, he added, would have to establish their mark on the list of forces famous for the services like Rescue 1122 to the people in the testing times.

Commandant Tourism Police Gul Said Afridi in his speech lauded the zest and zeal of new recruits and prodded them to gird up for an outstanding job to set an exalted example of courage, service and sacrifice for the other provinces and tourists from foreign countries. He said that recruits would be deputed in Swat, Chitral, Abbottabad and Mansehra after the training session.

He said that more training would be imparted to the Tourism Police after tourism season to enhance their capacity and equip them with latest skills to better serve the tourists and visitors at the scenic attractions of the province.

He said that the personnel would be provided motorcycles, puck-up vehicles, communication gears and B69MM pistols and would be deputed at the scenic places of the province for duty.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had earlier approved establishment of Tourism Police under the directives of Chief Minister Mahmood Khan. District level officers of the Tourism Police were hired from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police on deputation basis whereas constables and other officials recruited on an initial basis.

The Tourism Police will function as a special wing of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Culture and Tourism Authority (KPCTA).