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‘39 militant outfits operating in KP’

Updated March 04, 2014

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File photo
File photo

PESHAWAR: Parliamentary party leaders of the treasury and opposition benches in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly put their heads together in a closed-door meeting here Monday and discussed prevailing security situation in the province.

Sources said senior officials briefed parliamentary party leaders about the law and order situation and said 39 militant outfits were operating in the province, while 20 other groups functioning in the garb of Pakistani Taliban were involved in extortion, kidnapping for ransom and other criminal activities.

Chief Minister Pervez Khattak, opposition leader Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan, Qaumi Watan Party’s Sikandar Khan Sherpao, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Sirajul Haq, Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan’s Shahram Khan Tarakai, Awami National Party’s Sardar Hussain Babak, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl’s Maulana Lutfur Rehman and Pakistan People’s Party’s Mohammad Ali Shah Bacha attended the session, which lasted more than three hours.

Inspector General of Police Nasir Durrani and home and tribal affairs secretary Akhtar Ali Shah briefed political leadership about the provincial government’s counter terrorism strategy.

It is learned that the officials disclosed 39 militant groups were operating in the province, while 20 more criminals groups carrying out extortion, targeted killings and other high profile crimes in the name of Taliban also had their presence there.The officials told parliamentary leaders that the counter terrorism force was being established in the province, which would be equipped with high-tech equipment and weapons.

According to them, 30 detection dogs have been purchased for police but their handlers have yet to be hired.

The meeting was informed that the federal government did not take the provincial government into confidence about peace talks with the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Sources said parliamentary leaders of the opposition parties asked the government to share with them report on the inquiry into the DI Khan jailbreak.

The militants had attacked the jail in July 2013 freeing over 2,050 prisoners, including 30 suspected militants.

The government had constituted a high-level committee to investigate the incident. However, the inquiry report has yet to be made public.The next meeting of the parliamentary party leaders will take place on March 7 wherein the opposition is to give suggestions to the government on how to improve security situation.

DELAY IN ASSEMBLY SESSION: The assembly session began three hours late due to the meeting of the parliamentary leaders.

The provincial government’s ‘education emergency’ came under fire in the House with the opposition alleging that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and its allies had diverted from manifesto.

QWP member Ms Meraj Hamayun Khan said under the education emergency plan, the government had set the target of enrolling 2.5 million children in primary schools in the province.

She, however, said only 200,000 children had been enrolled so far, while 2.3 million children were still out of school.

The MPA said the working group on education had made a five-year plan and eight-point plans for education that included teachers training programme, mass enrolment of students, rehabilitation of damaged schools and adult literacy programme.

She said according to official estimates, around 700,000 children quit education due to closure and destruction of schools.

Ms Meraj, who was a member of the working group, said 14,000 vacancies of teachers were lying vacant across the province.

She said the PTI-led government failed to implement its agenda in education sector during the last 10 months.

The MPA said English language laboratory had been set up but qualified staff had not been hired to operate the facility.

She said the education department had planned one-day training programme for teacher training, which was insufficient.

“The standard practice is that every teacher undergoes at least two-and-half months training,” she said.

Maulana Lutfur Rehman criticising the education policy said the government had handed over education sector to NGOs.

He said PTI did not fulfil its commitment to abolish class-based education system in the province.