PESHAWAR: The federal government has failed to respond the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s request made for a Rs66.280 billion special security package for the province in March last year.
The relevant officials told Dawn that the KP government wrote to the federal finance ministry again on Dec 31, 2015, reminding it of the province’s financial needs for security, but there came no response.
On Thursday, the provincial cabinet, after holding a meeting on the Bacha Khan University Charsadda terrorist attack, demanded that the federal government increase the province’s one percent share in the federal divisible pool for the war against terrorism.
KP is estimated to get Rs30.146 billion in lieu of one per cent of the divisible pool for the current year.
An official said both letters to the federal finance ministry were sent by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa home and tribal affairs department.
Official says federal govt not providing Rs66.28bn despite promise
He said the special security package was sought to strengthen the law-enforcement agencies to combat militancy and terrorism and meet the province’s current and future security challenges.
The official said the package was designed keeping in view the province’s multifarious security challenges including situation arising from the US withdrawal from the region, influx of internally displaced persons in the province, organised criminal gangs involved in kidnapping for ransom and extortions, suicide and IED attacks, Afghan refugees and additional security requirements in the aftermath of the Dec 2014 Army Public School attack.
He said the federal government had earlier agreed to approve the special package, which first came under discussion in a meeting between KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on January 28, 2014.
The official said the issue was again taken up in a meeting between federal finance minister and KP chief minister. He said the federal government first agreed to approve the security package but later kept silence on it.
The official said the department wrote its first letter on the issue on March 24, 2015, but there came no response until the end of the last year.
He said again on Dec 31, 2015, the home department wrote a letter to the federal finance ministry reminding it of the province’s financial requirements in light of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project, but the request elicited no reply.
The information available with Dawn shows the KP government had demanded Rs3.3668 billion for Counter-Terrorism Department, Rs 957.25 million for the Rapid Response Force and Rs82.92 millionfor the research and analysis wing of the home and tribal affairs department.
In addition, Rs2.452 billion is required for the security of prisons, Rs52.085 billion for improvement of police infrastructure, Rs3.684 billion for prosecution department, Rs3.312 billion for reclamation and probation department, and Rs337.80 million for the Provincial Public Safety and Police Complaints Commission.
When contacted, provincial finance minister Muzaffar Said said he was not aware of the security package request.
“Maybe, the chief minister had forwarded the case through the home department,” he said.
The minister however said under the National Action Plan, the federal government had promised the recruitment of around 5,000 policemen, including 1,000 for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
He said the centre had also promised to send 70 Frontier Constabulary platoons deployed in different parts of the country, back to the province.
The minister said KP largely depended on the federal government for its revenue receipts and therefore, it had to look to the centre to meet its needs.
Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2015