Tribes given until Monday to recover Levies personnel

Political authorities warn Hassan Khel and Jina Kor clans of action if kidnapped men aren’t recovered.


Riaz Ahmad December 29, 2012
Political authorities warn Hassan Khel and Jina Kor clans of action if kidnapped men aren’t recovered. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

PESHAWAR:


Political authorities have given tribesmen until Monday to recover 22 tribal policemen who were seized by militants after coordinated attacks on government offices and a security checkpoint in Frontier Regions (FR) Peshawar on Thursday.


Assistant Political Agent (APA) Frontier Region (FR) Peshawar Naveed Akbar Khan told The Express Tribune that an 18-member Jirga of the Maliks and tribal elders was held for the safe return of the abducted Levies men.

“Under the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) collective responsibility act the tribes were responsible to maintain law and order in their respective area,” said Khan, adding that the tribes were given a deadline till Monday to recover the 23  abducted levies personnel.

The collective responsibility clause of the British-era FCR holds an entire tribe responsible for the actions of its members.

“We will decide our future course of action after the response of the tribes” he said.

The political administration of FR Peshawar warned local Hassan Khel and Jina Kor clans that stern action would be taken against them if the abducted personnel of Levies Force were not recovered by Monday, a tribal elder told The Express Tribune.

The collective

A political administration official confirmed the deadline but admitted that the situation was complicated, hinting that it was not easy to secure the release of kidnapped personnel.

“In the meeting, the administration expressed its dissatisfaction over the law and order situation,” the tribal elder said, adding that both clans have been asked to recover the abducted Levies men who are also local residents.

“We told them that the situation was out of the control of local tribesmen and elders because militants have established a firm foothold in the area, despite sporadic security operations and that they are in a position to challenge the writ of the state,” he said.

He added that political authorities warned the tribes that the government would withhold all financial benefits local maliks followed by a security operation against the militants, he said.

“If the government wants to launch an operation let them do it. We are more concerned about the safety of our people who have been kidnapped, as Levies are recruited from local clans,” the elder said.

The relatives of the kidnapped Levies men are making individual efforts to contact militants and secure the release of their loved-ones.

Hordes of militants mounted synchronised attacks on a telephone exchange, a hostel and a checkpoint in three areas and kidnapped 22 Levies men besides killing two of them on Thursday.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2012.

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