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Khasadar, Levies men reject ordinances regarding their legal status

Updated March 13, 2019

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Forces say they were deceived after their unconditional merger into police was promised by former IGP Salahuddin Mehsud. — APP/File
Forces say they were deceived after their unconditional merger into police was promised by former IGP Salahuddin Mehsud. — APP/File

LANDI KOTAL: The Khasadar and Levies forces from all seven tribal districts and six sub-divisions have rejected the two ordinances signed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman on Monday regarding their legal status.

The personnel of the two forces established a protest camp at Bab-i-Khyber in Jamrud on Tuesday to press the government for acceptance of their demands.

Mazhar Afridi, a Khasadar official, told Dawn that most of his colleagues lost their trust in the provincial government as they were deceived after their unconditional merger into police was promised by former IGP Salahuddin Mehsud.

Set up protest camp in Khyber to seek unconditional merger into police

He said that even Provincial Minister for Information Shaukat Yousafzai and Ajmal Wazir, the spokesperson for chief minister, were present when the then IGP assured them during their meetings about merger of Khasadar and Levies forces into police with all the related perks and privileges.

Mr Afridi said that the two ordinances were mere eyewash to stop them from staging protests and demonstrations in support for their demands. He said that provincial government wanted to keep Khasadar and Levies as subordinate forces of the police department.

“There is no mention of a service structure, pension, retirement criteria and provision of uniform and weapons to Khasadar and Levies forces in the recently signed ordinances. We are left with no other option but to reject these ordinances and instead present our own charter of demands,” he said.

Subedar Jahangir Khan, another official, told Dawn that Khasadar and Levies forces should be unconditionally merged into police with provision of all the perks and privileges.

He said that personnel of Khasadar and Levies demanded relaxation in both educational qualification and age for their recruitment in police along with granting them promotion to senior positions on the basis of their current posts in the tribal forces.

Mr Khan said that their charter of demands also included inclusion of the recently forced retired khasadars in police along with immediate halting of their forced retirement by the deputy commissioners of tribal districts.

The protesters asked the government not to establish police stations in the merged districts till acceptance of their demands with the consultations of tribal elders.

In Khar, the tribal elders and leaders of various political parties on Tuesday rejected policing system in the tribal districts and urged the government to give powers of police to Khasadar and Levies forces in the region.

They also demanded of the government to shift the district judicial complex to Bajaur from neighbouring Dir district immediately.

They were addressing a jriga, organised jointly by All Bajaur Political Parties Alliance and Bajaur Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The jirga was attended by tribal elders and leaders of political parties in a large number.

In Ghalanai, Mohmand Qaumi Jirga held a protest demonstration outside Mohmand Press Club against termination of khasadars.

Addressing on the occasion, Mian Lal Badshah, PPP leader Jangriz Khan Mohmand, Zahir Shah, Firdos Khan, Salman Khan, Malik Azeem Khan and Fazl-i-Subhan said that khasadars couldn’t perform duty owing to law and order situation in the region in 2008.

They said that without giving notices, the local administration terminated hundreds of khasadars. They alleged that there was a lot of corruption in the appointment and salaries of khasadars.

The speakers threatened to move court if the terminated khasadars were not reinstated. They that the people of the area were already affected by militancy therefore the khasadars should be reinstated.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2019