In a first, five Khyber villages near Torkham will be governed by Pakistan's law

Federal govt extends FIA Act to these villages giving Levies policing powers and political agent judicial powers

Our Correspondent September 23, 2017
A Pakistan Army soldier stands guard in Khyber Agency. PHOTO: APP/FILE

PESHAWAR: The federal government has extended a modified version of the Federal Investigation Agency Act 1974 (VIII of 1975) to five villages of the Khyber tribal area along Torkham border on Friday in an attempt to give policing powers to the Levies force while empowering the political agent with judicial powers.

In this regard, the Federal Ministry for States and Frontier Regions (Safron) issued a five-page Statutory Regulatory Ordinance (SRO) on Friday, pointing out the changes made in the act dealing with policing powers and judicial structure in the area.

The changes include judicial role for the political agent, subordinate offices as well as nomenclature changes in the office of the Levies forces that substitute the Police Act to be implemented in the villages but with changes in the context of Fata.

The SRO states: “The title ‘Federal Levies Force regulation 2012' has replaced the Police Act 1861 with changes in the nomenclatures in the Levies system.”

Levies force restored in Balochistan

The ‘Inspector General of Police’ under the Police Act 1861 has been replaced with the ‘Commandant of the Federal Levies Force’.

The provincial police has been replaced by the Federal Levies Force, ‘sub-inspector’ has been replaced with naib tehsildar, (passport) Torkham.

While the definition of the police station under the SRO means “any place designated to be so by the federal government”.

The expression ‘Tehsil Landikotal’ includes Torkham, Khyber Agency bounded by the village Bacha Mela, Torkham Gate, Shamshad Hill Top watershed and Ayub FC Picket Kabalo Mela.

The term ‘court’ as defined under the amended act would now mean the ‘court of assistant political agent Landikotal’, and ‘special court under the high court’.

The expression of special court has been substituted by the office of assistant political agent and political agent of the agency.

The political agent of the appropriate jurisdiction will now hold the powers of a session judge, magistrate, magistrate of first class district magistrate while the APA will be a judicial magistrate.

What is the Levies Force?

Wherever the term high court occurs, it has been replaced with the FATA Tribunal.

The role of the district coordination officer will now be played by political agent of the Khyber Agency or any officer appointed by the federal minister in-charge.

The legal framework will be regulated by the Frontier Crimes Regulation of 1901.

The ‘Evidence Act of 1872’ will also be replaced by the Qanun-e-Shahadat of 1984.

An official working at the Torkham border pass confirmed that the law had now been implemented and they had received the instructions on Friday.

“We will now have the powers to execute our powers in accordance with the new law,” he said.

With the implementation of this order, the Torkham border will no longer be a walk-through post - passports and other papers of travellers will be checked by the border staff.


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