LANDI KOTAL (Khyber Agency), Dec 16: The first batch of 70-strong Khasadars have started training under the supervision of the Mahsud Scouts at the Shah Kas Fort near Jamrud.

The training is part of the federal government’s plan to transform the armed tribesmen into a unified paramilitary force for making law enforcement in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas more effective and efficient.

The plan will cost the federal government about Rs2.5 billion which will be allocated in instalments in a span of three years.

Twenty-two of the Khasadars selected for 12-week training come from the Landi Kotal sub-division, 20 from Bara, 8 from Jamrud and 20 from the Frontier Regions, Kohat.

During a visit to the training camp, Major Mohammad Waqar of the Mahsud Scouts criticized the selection criteria of Khasadars and complained that overage, medically unfit and uneducated persons were selected for training. He also complained that despite 10 days after the training had started, the political administration had failed to ensure 100 per cent attendance at the camp.

He said that no uniform was given to the selected lot nor were they provided with transport and boarding facilities as had been promised. He was not optimistic about the success of the plan, saying the Khasadars were not interested in training.

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