PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet in its meeting on Tuesday approved absorption of 9,619 special police personnel into regular police force that would cost the government Rs2.76 billion per annum.
Addressing a press conference following the cabinet meeting, Information Minister Shaukat Yousafzai said the special police officers (SPOs), who were hired by the police department on contractual basis during the war against terrorism, were waiting for their regularisation for quite long.
He said that SPOs performed duty in the most testing situation, therefore, their services needed to be regularised. He said that the issue was vigorously debated by provincial government for a long time. However, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan decided to regularise SPOs with immediate effect, he added.
Mr Yousafzai said that finance department was of the view that the SPOs should be absorbed into police force from August next while another proposal called for terminating their services but Mr Khan rejected both proposals, stating he had already promised their regularisation.
“The SPOs would now be regularised permanently with immediate effect. New committees would be set up for this purpose,” he said, adding that absorption of over 9,000 personnel would cost the province’s kitty to the tune of Rs2.72 billion per annum.
Regularisation of SPOs to cost KP Rs2.76 billion annually
Mr Yousafzai said that the cabinet also approved establishment of seven child protection courts at divisional level to end child sexual abuse in the province. He said that the cabinet also approved creation of seven posts of additional district and sessions judges of BPS-20.
The minister said that the courts were being set up to combat child sexual abuse and award the culprits due punishment. He said that cases of child abuses were delayed in courts and the victims had to wait for years to get justice. Those courts would help the victims to get speedy justice, he added.
Mr. Yousafzai said that government also set up juvenile courts for juvenile offenders to rehabilitate them. He said that both the juvenile and child courts would safeguard child rights and help combating child abuse in the province.
However, a source told Dawn that the child protection courts were being set up at the insistence of Peshawar High Court. He said that PHC through its own resources had set up three dedicated courts in Peshawar, Mardan and Abbottabad for the same purpose.
The source said that Peshawar child court was set up on March 16, 2019, while the courts in Mardan and Abbottabad were established in October.
Mr Yousafzai said that the cabinet also approved a supplementary grant of Rs450 million to fight the locust invasion in the province. He said that the sum would be spent on fighting locust infestation in Dera Ismail Khan, Tank, South Waziristan and Lakki Marwat districts.
The cabinet also approved Rs5.7 billion special compensation package for lost goods of Miramshah market in North Waziristan tribal district.
Mr Yousafzai said that government had already paid compensation to the affected people of Mirali area of North Waziristan. He said that the affected people of Miramshah would also receive the same amount.
The minister said that the cabinet also approved setting up a rescue academy at in Shahkas area of Khyber tribal district. He said that government started Rescue 1122 services in tribal districts.
Mr Yousafzai said that previously newly inducted rescuers had to go to Lahore for training but the academy would meet the need and would also save the expenses incurred on training in other province.
He said that the cabinet also approved a proposal of appointing Syed Zafar Ali Shah as director general of Peshawar Development Authority (PDA). Mr Shah would keep the additional charge of chief executive of Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar. The cabinet also approved appointment of Yasir Imran as administrator of KP Auqaf.
Cabinet approved integrated water resources management strategy development for KP and IFAD assistance for rural economic transformation project. IFAD would provide US $50 million for this purpose.
The cabinet also approved a bill to dissolve Fata Development Authority, bylaws for maintenance of private and public swimming pools, repeal of KP Delimitation of Local Council Act, 2015 and reduction of Public Service Commission members’ tenure from five to three years.
Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2020