DI KHAN/PESHAWAR: A week after Khasadar forces had abandoned their security posts in the border areas and in the main markets of South Waziristan over the non-payment of their dues, the federal government has finally directed the finance department to release funds to pay the outstanding salaries of the tribal security forces.
The directives came from the federal finance department following urging from the States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Ministry — helmed by Minister of State Shaheryar Afridi — to release funds worth R1.221 billion.
The money will help pay the salary of Khasadar forces in the former federally administered tribal areas for the past 10 months.
South Waziristan district headquarters Deputy Commissioner Numan Afzal Afridi told The Express Tribune that he has received a notification wherein the federal government has sought details of salaries of Khasadar forces in the area and the amount which had been withheld. He added that after deliberations between the federal and provincial governments, the matter has now been resolved.
“The federal government has released the total outstanding amount of Rs1.2209 billion, which will help pay the pending salaries,” Afridi said.
A standoff had emerged between the Khasadar and the Levies forces in the areas after the former abandoned their posts as they boycotted their duties over the lack of payment. The Levies had been asked by the newly appointed South Waziristan Tribal District Police Officer to step in to fill the void but they clashed with the protesting Khasadar force members.
The 1,450 Khasadar personnel had also boycotted the recent polio campaign in the tribal district as well. As a result, around 78,000 children in the tribal district could not be vaccinated.
Khasadar, Levies to be modernised
To equip the Khasadar and Levies forces with modern security techniques and technologies, some 26 personnel from the two tribal forces of the Khyber Tribal District have started training on explosives at the Nowshera Police School of Explosive Handling on Wednesday.
In the first phase, 26 Khasadar and Levies force officials will receive modern training to handle explosives, suicide jackets, toy bombs, and remote-controlled bombs.
CCPO Qazi Jameel told The Express Tribune that selected members of both forces from other tribal districts will be trained in stages.
“The main aim is to train the forces of the merged districts on the modern security parameters and how they can cope with the latest security challenges in their respective areas in a more professional way,” CCPO Jameel said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2019.