KP's Tiger Force volunteers to attend Islamabad moot at govt expense

Updated 15 Oct 2020

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Around 350 volunteers of the Tiger Force belonging to 35 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will attend convention in Islamabad on Oct 17 at the government’s expenses. — Photo courtesy Tiger Force Twitter
Around 350 volunteers of the Tiger Force belonging to 35 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will attend convention in Islamabad on Oct 17 at the government’s expenses. — Photo courtesy Tiger Force Twitter

PESHAWAR: Around 350 volunteers of the Tiger Force having affiliation with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and belonging to 35 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will attend convention in Islamabad on Oct 17 at the government’s expenses, sources said.

The sources said the office of the chief secretary had directed all deputy commissioners to send 10 members of the Corona Tiger Force from each district to Islamabad for convention to be addressed by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

When contacted, spokesman for the provincial government Kamran Bangash expressed ignorance about the proposal of sending 10 volunteers each from all the districts of the province to the convention and said the relevant DCs had been directly coordinating with the force’s volunteers.

Oct 17 convention to be addressed by PM Imran Khan

Sources said the chief secretary had issued directives to all relevant quarters to facilitate travel of the volunteers of the so-called force to Islamabad. In this connection, DCs have been directed to provide transport to the members of the Tiger Force to take them Islamabad and bring them back to their home districts.

They said that around 350 selected members of the Tiger Force from 35 districts of the province would attend the convention.

Participants of the convention have to wear their jackets designed by special assistant to the prime minister on youth affairs Usman Dar.

Zakir Khan, an organiser of the force in Timergera (Lower Dir), told Dawn that they held meeting with the assistant commissioner on Wednesday and discussed nominations of members for attending the convention in Islamabad.

He said that members of the force were already checking prices of essential commodities in the market and coordinated with the district administration in this regard.

“Besides, the checking prices of food items members of the force also inspect development projects in the area to ensure quality of work,” said Zakir Khan, adding that up to 6,000 volunteers had been registered in Lower Dir alone.

The Tiger Force, a brainchild of Prime Minister Imran Khan, was created in 2014 when the PTI staged 127 days sit-in against the then government in Islamabad’s D-Chowk.

The force’s main responsibility at that time was the provision of security and other arrangements for protesters.

The Tiger Force was rejuvenated after the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country. The force, having no legal cover, was tasked with coping with the pandemic and distribution of relief package among the people.

Now, the government has assigned another task to the force to check the prices of food items.

The volunteers of the force will coordinate with the relevant district administrations to monitor prices of daily commodities on the market.

Former president of PTI Peshawar district Zafarullah Khattak told Dawn that around 250,000 youth had registered themselves to become volunteers of the force. He said the formal structure of the force didn’t exist.

Mr Khattak said members of the force had been administered oath by the relevant assistant commissioners.

Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2020