PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Monday announced immediate merger of Levies and Khasadar forces into KP police in order to bring tribal districts under the FATA-KP merger plan.
Flanked by Adviser on tribal districts Ajmal Wazir, the chief minister said in a press conference that a notification had been issued in this regard adding that the entire process would be conducted in a transparent manner.
He said that 28,000 personnel of both the forces would benefit from this decision, the chief minister added.
Lauding services of the Levies and Khasadar force, he said that, both forces of the tribal districts made numerous sacrifices in war against terrorism to establish peace in the region and added that no one would be rendered jobless.
He said the provincial government was fully committed to resolve the reservations of the Khasadar force.
Speaking on the occasion, Adviser to CM on Tribal Districts Ajmal Wazir said personnel of the Khasadar force would be adjusted with same designation or post in police too and added they would be entitled to all perks and privileges as enjoyed by the police force of the province.
The notification for merger of Khasadar and Levies, a copy of which was available with the Daily Express, implies a period of six months for the assimilation process. Therefore, it is not with immediate effect. According to legal experts Police Act 2017 would have to be amended to allow for absorption of Levies and Khasadars in BPS-16 and 17. The Subedars of the triabl security forces would then compete with regular SHOs and DSPs for promotions to PSP cadre.
Come children let’s go to school
CM Mahmood Khan inaugurated the enrolment drive “Ao Bacho School Chalain” or come children let’s go to school.
Addressing the enrolment campaign at the Khyber tribal district said the incumbent government has set target to enrol 800,000 out-of-school-children during the on-going academic year.
Government is taking pragmatic steps to implement Article 25-A of the constitution by providing free education to all children between the ages of eight and 16.
The enrolment campaign was also attended by the Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood, Federal Minister on Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri, Advisor to CM for Merged Districts Ajmal Wazir and Advisor to CM on Elementary & Secondary Education (E&SE) Ziaullah Bangash.
CM Mahmood said the governemtn was trying to restore normalcy after 14 years of militancy. He urged the people to benefit from the chances peace has brought to the region.
He directed E&SE officials to chalk out a proposal to give allowances to teachers are performing duties in far flung areas. He further directed all district education officers to visit educational institutions in the newly merged districts regularly.
Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood said initiating enrolment campaign from Khyber is evidence of government’s commitment to develop the newly merged tribal areas.
Ajmal Wazir said people from the newly merged tribal areas should reflect on the reasons for their deprivation and the causes of decades of exploitation and insecurity. “An educated society can never be exploited. The lesson we have learnt from decades of exploitation and insecurity is that we have to educate our youth at every cost. Without education, our future, and the future of our children can never be secure,” Wazir said.
Religious Affairs Minister Qadri also stressed on the importance of education stating that if the tribal people desire development and stability for the centuries to come, they have to focus on educating their youth and children.
E&SE Adviser Bangash said the government has advertised 2,400 posts so far for the tribal areas and the CM has given approval for the creation of additional 4,000 posts.
He further stated that the government is sincere to and making every effort to end the exploitation and provide development opportunities to the people of erstwhile Fata. However, local citizens should also consider it as their duty to support and work with the government
The Chief Minister also stated that, development initiatives in the newly merged districts are being carried out after consultations with the local population. During his visit, the Chief Minister was also briefed on the activities carried out by the forestry department in Khyber.
The CM during his visit also inaugurated the 7.7kms Jamrud bypass road which will be constructed at an estimated cost of Rs966 million with USAID help.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2019.