PESHAWAR, Aug 2: A large number of youths in the border areas of Chitral district have joined the Afghan National Army (ANA) and also offered services to Nato forces in Afghanistan, says a statement issued by the Home and Tribal Affairs Department on Thursday.

“The department has reliable information that a large number of unemployed youths belonging to Chitral have joined the Afghan National Army and are serving in Afghanistan,” the statement said.

Authorities in Chitral confirmed that youths from border areas of the district had been recruited by various Afghan government organisations, including the ANA.

Chitral’s District Coordination Officer Rehmatullah Wazir, when approached by phone, said seven people of the area who had recently joined Afghan government departments had relinquished their jobs and returned to their homes.

“There is unemployment in the border areas and people often go to Afghanistan for jobs in government departments,” said Mr Wazir, adding that people who had gone there would have to abandon their jobs.

He said the administration in Arando area of the district had directed local people to call back their relatives who had joined the Afghan army or any other government organisation. The administration would take action if these people did not give up the jobs voluntarily, he added.

The home department said it was a sensitive issue and the commissioner of Malakand and the quarters concerned had been asked to collect data about Pakistanis involved in this “malpractice”.

Meanwhile, the Afghan Consulate in Peshawar has lodged a complaint that police are harassing Afghan drivers carrying transit goods from Pakistan to Afghanistan.

Quoting Afghan diplomats, the home department said police had misbehaved with the drivers and harassed them. The department directed the Peshawar police chief to take immediate measures to address the complaint.

Bureau Report

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