PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet on Thursday approved a proposal for the absorption of over 23,000 personnel of the Levies and Khasadar forces operating in merged districts into the regular police force.
Spokesman for the government Ajmal Wazir told a presser that the cabinet approved the absorption of both forces, which were responsible for maintaining law and order in the erstwhile Fata, into the province’s police.
He said the absorption of Levies and Khasadar forces into the police was a historic decision and that the PTI government had fulfilled its promise of not rendering a single staff member jobless.
Absorption of about 29,000 personnel of levies and khasadar forces was one of the thorniest issues facing the government following the Fata-KP merger.
In the first phase, the provincial cabinet approved the absorption of clear cases into the police department. The cases requiring clarification will be handled in the second phase.
Changes to CPC deferred for three months over lawyers’ concerns
Sources told Dawn that the cabinet approved the absorption of 23,205 personnel of both forces in the first phase and of them, 13,229 were Khasadar and 9,976 Levies personnel.
Information minister Shaukat Yousafzai, who was also present on the occasion, denied reports about noisy exchanges between Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and senior minister Mohammad Atif Khan during the cabinet meeting.
“I categorically deny such reports. Nothing of the sort took place in the cabinet meeting as reported by TV channels,” he said.
Mr Yousafzai said TV channels should report responsibly otherwise their credibility would be damaged.
He also denied the reports of grouping in the ruling PTI and said, “If anyone, who is up to grouping, should better quit the party.”
The minister said the chief minister enjoyed the complete confidence of Prime Minister Imran Khan and was fully authorised to ‘make and unmake’ the cabinet appointments.
He said a proposal was under consideration about the inclusion of two women into the cabinet, which currently didn’t have female representation.
Mr Yousafzai said the cabinet also approved a legislation to absorb around 9,000 personnel of special police officers hired in Swat and other restive districts during the time of militancy into the police force.
He said a proposal was also approved about the deferment of the amendment to the Civil Procedure Code for three months over the lawyers’ concerns.
The lawyers’ organisations had announced an indefinite strike to force the government to withdraw those amendments.
Mr Yousafzai said the provincial government’s relevant bodies would sit down with lawyers to resolve those issues.
He said the cabinet also approved the formation of the seven-member Mineral Investment Facilitation Authority as well as a committee headed by senior minister Atif Khan to decide the lease of Swat Serena hotel.
The cabinet also approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Pakistan Air Force for the repair and maintenance of two government helicopters and the regularisation of the employees of the Fata Disaster Management Authority’s employees.
Mr Yousafzai said the chief minister directed the establishment department to look into regularisation issues of all employees of the defunct Fata secretariat.
The cabinet also approved amendments to the KP Control of Narcotics Substance Act, 2019, and the purchase of vehicles for 22 civil judges.
APP adds: The cabinet expressed concern about the growing incidence of child molestation in the province and approved the establishment of juvenile courts to make juvenile justice system more effective.
Mr Yousafzai said under the Juvenile Justice System Act, 2018, the incumbent judges would be appointed as juvenile judges, while in future, separate judges would be appointed to such courts in every district.
He said work on the establishment of separate jails for juveniles in the province was under way.
The cabinet approved Rs20 million supplementary grant for putting up the Chitral Chamber of Commerce and Industry building to help develop mineral, industrial, agricultural, tourism and hydel power generation sectors in the region.
The cabinet said those sectors would be developed to bring the people of Chitral into the mainstream.
Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2020