Mangal Bagh, the chief of Lashkar-i-Islam, had threatened to target Khasadars taking part in military operations against the banned outfit after which they had deserted their posts.—File Photo

PESHAWAR: For the first time in three years, the Khasadar Force, the local tribal militia, has been redeployed in the Shalobar area of Bara Tehsil of Khyber tribal region, as part of security strategy to maintain law and order.

The local administration officials confirmed that in the first phase about 250 Khasadars have been asked to move into Shalobar after three years to take their positions.

On Sept 13, 2009, authorities had sacked 715 personnel of the paramilitary Khasadar force for deserting their posts after receiving threats from the outlawed Lashkar-i-Islam chief, Mangal Bagh.

Tariq Hayat, the political agent in Khyber Agency, had ordered the sacking when security personnel had reportedly refused to return to their posts despite official orders.

Most of the men whose services were terminated belonged to Malikdinkhel, Sipah, Qamarkhel and Shalobar tribes while around 620 personnel of Kalakhel, Bar Qambarkhel and Storikhel tribes were performing their duties.

The Khyber Agency administration reinstated all Khasadars on Nov 17 wherein an announcement was made by Assistant Political Agent Mohammad Nasir during a jirga (gathering) of all seven tribes of Bara that was headed by lawmaker Hamidullah Jan Afridi.

MNA Hamidullah Jan spearheaded the efforts for the reinstatement of the paramilitary soldier. In this connection, he along with some elders of Bara held a series of consultations and meetings with both administrative and security officials for restoration of the force.

Mangal Bagh, the chief of Lashkar-i-Islam, had threatened to target Khasadars taking part in military operations against the banned outfit after which they had deserted their posts

Assistant Political Agent for Bara, Nasir Khan, confirmed that they had ordered deployment of the force and it has also been equipped with latest weapons to help them perform their duties.

“The Khasadars would be assisting the Frontier Corps and the Army in maintenance of peace in the region,” he said.

A former line officer of the force, Sher Mir, who would be heading the 250 men squad, confirmed that they had been asked to move into the Shalobar area to take positions.

The Khasadar force, he said, would be manning four security check posts in the Shalobar area and would also be performing patrolling duties.

The officials said that the assistance of better equipped Khasadars would help identify militant elements among the local population as this force, comprising mainly of locals, have a better know how of the area and the terrain.

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