The Afghan National Civil Order Police (ANCOP) are an elite rapid reaction and counterinsurgency force that has earned a positive reputation among Afghans.
Sada-e Azadi magazine recently spoke with the Eastern Zone ANCOP, 2nd Brigade Commander, Colonel Abdul Basir Sapay. Excerpts from his interview are reproduced here for our readers.
Sada-e Azadi: What are the recent achievements of ANCOP in its area of operation?
Colonel Abdul Basir Sapay: As people know, we have recently had great achievements in fighting against the enemies of peace in the eastern provinces.
The ANCOP Eastern Zone not only conducts security patrols and guards the important Jalalabad-Kabul highway; we also participate in the ongoing security operations in Khogiani, Shirzad, Pachir Agam and Batikot districts. Our personnel have also been effective in securing the Nuristan-Kunar road. Recently, our forces successfully cleared Chaprahar district from militants. Pech district of Kunar was called the death valley, but after we launched military operations there and established check posts, security has improved.
SeA: Are there new plans for the expansion of ANCOP operational coverage in the eastern zone?
Col Sapay: Yes. We are planning to deploy a new battalion of ANCOP in Sawkay district of Kunar province in order to improve security in the district and surrounding areas. The compound building for the battalion has already been constructed.
If there is a need for the service of ANCOP in any part of the eastern zone, we are ready to fulfil our responsibilities because now we have sufficient manpower that is well-equipped. Additionally, we have reserve units with high morale to fight against the enemies of Afghanistan.
SeA: Are there any initiatives to further equip the ANCOP?
Col Sapay: ANCOP have already received improvised explosive devices (IED) detection vehicles and armoured vehicles, and we expect to receive more mine detection equipment in the near future. It is planned that more helicopters, especially for ANCOP, will be provided soon.
SeA: What are the requirements for recruitment into the ANCOP?
Col Sapay: Whoever wants to join ANCOP should be an Afghan citizen, graduated from 12th grade, should not be a drug addict, should not have major disability, and be willing serve anywhere in the country.
SeA: How cooperative are the people with security forces?
Col Sapay: Security forces personnel are warmly welcomed by the locals wherever they go. People understand that in order to improve security in their areas, it is their responsibility to help security forces by reporting suspicious activities. Most of our achievements are due to the close cooperation between the people and their security forces.
It is my message to my respected countrymen that Afghanistan is our country; it is our duty to defend it. The cooperation of people can save innocent lives.