PESHAWAR, April 18: The federal government has begun redeployment of 50 Frontier Constabulary (FC) platoons each having 43 personnel to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from across the country in line with the Peshawar High Court orders and the exercise will be completed by next Monday.
The information was shared by senior joint secretary of the interior ministry Akhtar Jan Wazir with a PHC bench comprising Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan and Justice Irshad Qaiser on Thursday.
The secretary told the bench that in accordance with its earlier orders, several other FC platoons would be redeployed to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa before the May 11 elections.
He said 60 FC platoons were deployed in Karachi, 22 in multinational companies (MNCs), 10 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 35 in Islamabad and that out of them, 20 platoons would be returned from Islamabad, 15 from Karachi, 10 from MNCs and five from Gilgit-Baltistan.
During the April 11 hearing, the court had begun contempt of court proceedings against the interior secretary and two other officials of the ministry and also issued bailable warrants for their arrests over failure to comply with the court orders regarding deployment of FC Platoons to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.The senior joint secretary of the interior ministry said the interior secretary was scheduled to go to the high court but he was summoned by the Supreme Court in a treason case against former president Pervez Musharraf.
He said the interior secretary had submitted bail bonds to the relevant court. He requested the bench to give them any other date on which the secretary would appear in person along with other officials.
Mr Wazir said caretaker chief minister Justice (r) Tariq Pervez Khan had spoken to President Asif Zardari on the issue and had apprised him of the immediate need of FC platoons’ redeployment to the province due to the delicate law and order situation.
The bench fixed the next hearing for May 7.
The chief justice observed that around two weeks ago, militants attacked one of the major grid stations of the province in Sheikh Mohammad area leaving several employees and security personnel dead and the station destroyed.
He observed that the damage valued over a billion rupees and that had the court order been enforced on time, the tragedy would have not happened.
The bench observed that FC was a very valuable fighting force whose prime duty was to protect the areas between the province and adjoining tribal areas, but the government had rendered it useless by deployment on VIP duties.
On Nov 6, 2012, the high court had disposed of a petition filed by the provincial government through the home secretary and in light of an undertaking given by an official of the interior ministry the court had ordered to redeploy platoons within two months. The said order was subsequently followed by several other orders passed on Jan 10, Jan 31, Feb 19 and March 13.
A high-level meeting was also held on Oct 22, 2012 in Islamabad under the chairmanship of the interior secretary. The additional secretary of interior ministry, FC commandant and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa home secretary were also in attendance during the meeting, which agreed that the current law and order situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa required enhancement of FC deployment to strengthen the provincial government.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, in its petition, had claimed that 294 FC platoons were operating outside the province though the force was basically meant to protect the areas bordering Fata. It requested the immediate return of around 180 platoons to the province.