PESHAWAR: Members of the opposition Awami National Party on Tuesday walked out of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly sitting to protest the recruitment of retired army men in various departments.
“What the unemployed youth of our province will do if vacancies in civil departments are filled by recruiting retired army officials,” ANP parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak told the house.
Speaker Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani chaired the sitting.
During question hour, the home department disclosed in the written reply to a question of Mr Babak that the police department in Buner district had employed 15 retired army men, including 11 locals and the rest from other districts.
Minister says law allows such hiring on contract in ‘special circumstances’
The ANP leader, who also belongs to Buner, wondered why such recruitment was made when a large number of highly-educated youth were jobless.
He asked the department why the retired army men were employed on contractual basis and where they would draw salaries from if the finance department didn’t sanction their posts.
“A detailed discussion was held in the house yesterday on the performance of the Frontier Works Organisation and this institution is under discussion yet again today,” he said.
Mr Babak said if the house discussed the military institutions on a daily basis, then everyone would talk about them in public places.
Law minister Sultan Mohammad Khan justified the recruitment of the former military men in the police department saying it has been made in line with the police law and rules.
He also said the police department could hire the former army men on contractual basis under ‘special circumstances’. He, however, didn’t elaborate on it.
However, the ANP parliamentary leader rejected the contention and announced a walkout along with party members against the recruitment of ex-army men in civil departments.
The chair asked ministers Shaukat Yousafzai, Akbar Ayub Khan and Hisham Inamullah to persuade the ANP lawmakers to return. The opposition members came back afterward.
Speaking on a point of order, lawmaker Mahmud Bittani drew the house’s attention to the brutal killing of a five-year-child in Tank area and said the minor’s body was found after he remained missing for around a week.
He said the incidence of crimes against children was increasing causing unrest among parents.
The MPA demanded of the government to take steps for the prevention and control of such offences and make laws to hand down exemplary punishment to culprits.
The chair directed the police department to produce a report regarding the child’s killing by next Friday.
He also directed the law minister to accelerate work on the proposed law to award strict punishment to child abusers.
The question put up by MPA Inayatullah Khan regarding the appointment of project directors was referred to the standing committee on law for discussion and recommendation.
The lawmaker said the project policy of the government had many loopholes, which should be addressed.
The law minister informed the house that the health insurance programme would be extended to the entire province by Dec or Jan.
He said under the Sehat Sahulat Programme of the provincial government, patcients would be entitled to free hospitalisation in selected government and private hospitals of the province.
The chair adjourned the session until Friday.
Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2020