Pakistan's most Elite and well-armed force, the Special Services Group (Commando Group) works under the guidance of Pak-Army. Its group combining high level training and expertise.
The SSG was formed ten years after the independence. Its main objective is to work where the regular army is not considered suitable to accomplish the Op as well as being assigned special tasks and covert ops. This may include high crisis situations on the National border to Hostage Rescue operations in country capitals, the SSG is trained to handle sorts of situations. The recruitment procedure for the group is to test the candidates from all three regular forces (Army, Navy, Air Force) whom are recommended by the Chiefs of the force. Those who pass the initial test are sent to the group's HQ, based in a remote area of the northern side of the country for extensive training, the course is one year long. The recruitment standards are extremely tough to pass.
The course combines specializations in assault, sniping, survival, demolitions, grenade throwing, rappelling, MG firing, FIBUA (Fighting In Built Up Areas), CQB (Close Quarter Battle), Para-jumping, stealth and espionage, marine courses, physical and psychological training as well as criminal psychology courses and many other courses. After the course, the passed candidates have the choice to go and join their initial forces or remain in the SSG.
The SSG has really well equipped itself with the latest and most advanced weapons. It has a wide arsenal in its use to suit its needs. It includes the famed Heckler and Koch 9mm MP5 SMG, Heckler and Koch 7.62 x 51mm Gewher-3 (G3, a.k.a. HK91 in USA) assault rifle, China made Type- 56 7.62 x 39mm autos (Chinese version of Russian AK47), the new Steyr's 5.56mm NATO A.U.G assault rifle. In their Sniper weapons, they use scoped up G3s, Finnish Tikka bolt actions, as well as Steyr SSG 69 7.62 x 51mm (.308 win) bolt actions. The pistols in use are Austrian 9mm Glock 15, the Berretta M9 (M92F), the SIG Pro 226. The latest Fabrique Nationale Herstal's (FN-Herstal) 5.7x28mm P90 SMG is also reserved for very high-risk applications.
The high standard of training has won the SSG titles such as Crème de La Crème (Best of the Best).
The main strike team is called the "Zarrar Jareeh" company, (Zarrar Jareeh means "Seek and Destroy")
It works on the motto: Ambush, Engage and Destroy (or Let the regular army destroy their target)
Another strike team is called Iqbal Buland (Meaning "Highly Praised")
The SSG was used in border situations and covert operations mostly, until 1985, when a PAN AM airliner was hi-jacked by anonymous terrorists. They were four in number, clad in ASF (Airport Security Force), beneath their cloths they were able to conceal Russian AKSU SMGs (7.62 x 39mm a.k.a. .30-.30 calibre) and TT33 30 bore pistols.
Fortunately, an airhostess had discovered the fact, it was a really critical situation as all the passengers had boarded the plane along with the hijackers, and the pilot was preparing for take-off, the airhostess on discovering the fact rushed to the cockpit and reported to the pilot. The crew considered it wise to leave the plane unnoticed through the emergency hatch in the cockpit, hence disabling the plane from taking-off. News reached the ASF chief who reported the matter to the government and army. All this took place within an hour or so. When the hijackers discovered that the crew had deserted the plane, they fell in minor flux, as their plan seemed to have backfired.
Soon, government officials who offered to negotiate the matter contacted them but the hijackers seemed very unproductive in that matter, and also threatened to shoot the passengers if they were not allowed to leave unharmed. The SSG was put on stand-by. During that time the government discussed the situation then the commander of the SSG, the Late Brig Tariq Mahmood (K.I.A. Also awarded ARMY'S MEDAL FOR BRAVERY) was given a go signal to execute the plan which was to breech and kill all the resistance in the plane.
After that, at nighttime the SSGs operatives took action, they were armed with HK MP5 SMGs, Heckler and Koch's P7 9mm semiautomatic pistols as well AK47s (7.62 x 39mm a.k.a. 30-30) and Heckler and Koch G3 (7.62 x 51mm). They wore black uniforms and light body armor. They entered the plane by banging down the doors of the plane, the hijackers who were expecting an operation, resisted and opened fire on the commandos. Unfortunately, the passengers were not prepared for the fire and fell in disorder when the lights of the plane were shut down, so suddenly. SSG on the other hand was not accustomed to such situations and also had to open fire. Due to which many passengers were caught in the deadly firefight of lethal automatic weapons and heavy casualties took place. Although all the terrorists were killed and the coup ended, but not without 10+ innocent casualties. The SSG was not much commended the operation was called a failure. The case quietly sat down.
It was suggested that the cause for the failure of the operation was the use of inappropriate weapons and tactics. The SSG was not yet trained to handle CQBs (Close Quarter Battles) at that time.
The Second Test
It was a normal day in the National Capital, when the news of the kidnapping of a school bus carrying more than 35 primary school children, all of whom were below 12 years of age, as well as two teachers and a driver. Authorities immediately fell in stress and pressure about how to stop this chaotic situation.
Not only were the Government worried about the lives of the children, they were also trying to figure out a way handle the mediocrity.
It was learned that the kidnappers were 6 Afghan militants, their motif was to get the Pakistani government to accept some of their extremely inexhorbitant demands that included giving them military assets along with fighter jets in the Pak-Airforce.
The news played hell with the parents of the children, who were on the verge on going hysterical. Parents and media both stormed the offices of the authorities, trying to find out what steps were being taken to end the situation.
The government fell a very tricky and difficult situation as the terrorists pressurized them at the same time. They indicated the terrorists that their demands were under consideration and the government will need a little time to fulfill their demands. The terrorists replied by saying that they will be allotted 72 hours before any "unpleasant event occurs". Then they asked for food for themselves and the hostages, which they were immediately given.
Internally the government had decided to no to give in their demands, and they were planning to take the terrorists down. Many tactical and intelligence teams were called to the operation. Including ISI and SSG, it was decided that there should be a way of contact with the inside world. The terrorists had drawn the curtains of the place so there was virtually no contact inside. It was figured out that the terrorists might be convinced to let an ill child hostage and a teacher walk out of the house and receive medical treatment then they will be returned to the terrorists. That was made their key to the inside world, the two hostages were allowed free. They reported that the hostages were held in separate rooms, guarded by armed terrorists, the terrorists were armed with Kalashinkov assault rifles and pistols, they were wearing typical Afghan dress and army boots and MAY have body armor.
During all that time they were supplied with food and water.
Day one had passed, the next day the hostages were contacted and told that an operation would be carried out at sunset time and it will be aimed to kill all the terrorists on the spot, therefore the hostages had to be prepared for the sudden outbreak of the breach. The hostages had to shift themselves on the floor or under any furniture just 1 minute before the showdown. Any confusion or carelessness could result in severe casualties. The news quietly spread between the hostages during mealtime.
The next day, at the given time the hostages moved to the appropriate locations. The terrorists were really very attentive now; they had their guns ready at all time, and seemed very less hesitant towards taking the lives of the hostages. It was also discovered later that they wore masked that covered their one eye so that they would only have point and fire without worrying to aim.
Then after one minute, a volley of gas and smoke grenades was fired through the house's windows and into the rooms. After an interval of 3 or 4 seconds SSG's commandos of the "Zarrar Jareeh" began entering through windows and doors, they were armed with MP5 sub-Machine guns, and Laser trained Glock and Beretta pistols. They were wearing camouflage dress, kevlar vests, and Gas masks, and spare gas grenades. The terrorists were not ready for the attack, but they blindly returned fire, putting lives of the hostages at risk.
It was difficult for them to see through the smoke and gas fumes irritated their eyes. Thankfully, no hostages went hysterical by the heavy the gunfire that rocked the whole neighborhood. By the first 40 seconds 2 terrorists lay dead, they were accurately chest and head shot through the deadly MP5 9mm bursts. The rest of the four terrorists also fell victims of the commandos' bullets within the next 1 minute! The commandos worked like greased lightening, they stormed the whole house with their guns on the ready, and every terrorist that fell in their way. One terrorist tried to shoot the hostages, just as he was about to execute one of them, two SSG-ians entered the room and pumped him full of lead. It was a really close call, were they late of a second, there might have casualties.
The breech ended within 2 minutes, all terrorists lying dead, all hostages rescued, with no casualties. The Afghan government denied any responsibility of the militants. The parents of the children commended the government and SSG especially for carrying out such a successful operation. IT was therefore proved that what happened in 1985, may not necessarily have to happen again.