ISLAMABAD: Balochistan Home and Tribal Affairs Department Special Secretary Hafiz Tahir on Thursday said since 2003, the provincial government has been solely providing finances to Levies without any assistance from the Centre.
During Senate Standing Committee for Less Developed Areas meeting chaired by Senator Usman Kakar, Tahir said the provincial government, through its own resources, has been bearing all the expenses for weapons, transport and training of levies.
He highlighted that the total number of levies in the province stood at 6,559, in addition to 1,200 vacant posts in the force.
“There is a clear discrimination between the levies appointed by the federal govt and the province,” he said. The secretary said levies is responsible to ensure security to 90 per cent area of the province under an annual budget of Rs10 billion. However, he said police covering the remaining 10 per cent of the area is supported by budget of Rs23 billion.
In 2018, levies registered 218 cases for areas under its control while the number of cases in police area stood at 360. Moreover, up till now over 200 levies have embraced martyrdom and around 315 were injured, he added.
The federal government has not brought any policy for martyrs of levies, Tahir lamented.
To this, the committee in its recommendation to the government demanded that family members of the martyrs from levies and Khasadar Force should be given proper packages with job security for children.
On the occasion, the body in a report was informed that in last five years, the levies recovered 47 hand grenades from erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Area (Fata). However, the committee objected to the report presented about the Fata.
Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (Safron) joint secretary said that after the 18th Constitutional Amendment, its role has been minimised.
Powers have not been reduced to such an extent that it would not be able to prepare a proper briefing, the committee opposed.
Chairman Kakar said that the counter terrorism report given by Fata Levies was “unsatisfactory, they work on the field but the officials remain carefree in their offices”. It must be informed that how many such personnel have been martyred or wounded during the past 18 years in Fata, he questioned.
The officials representing levies said that at the moment such details were not available with the authority.
The committee called for officials to present the detail in the next session and “warned them that misstatement will not be tolerated”.
The officials added that about 2,220 positions for levies were vacant in Fata. The finance division has placed restriction on appointments, they said. “Its’ security’s domain,” Kakar said “Why such ban was imposed”.
Officials from ministry of safron said that levies would be merged with the police as per police standards.
The committee was further told that safron ministry procured uniform for levies personnel of 16 districts from its own funds but their sizes proved to be inaccurate.
The secretary concerned is not even permitted to purchase uniforms. To this, the safron ministry officials said that they have been given financial powers now.