PESHAWAR: Thousands of personnel of Khasadar forces from former Federally Administrative Tribal Areas (FATA) are uncertain about their future following the merger of the tribal areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
The Khasadar force personnel, through their officers called subedars, are engaged in consultation with each other to convince the government authorities for their adjustment in police or other regular force responsible for maintaining law and order in the region.
Around 40,000 personnel are serving in Khasadar forces throughout seven former tribal agencies and six frontier regions. These tribesmen didn’t see any place in the police system to be extended to ex-FATA regions after a merger with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
On such grounds, they are demanding adjustment in police system or to send them on retirement like other government officials.
Mazhar Afridi, a subedar of Khasadar forces in Khyber Agency, confirmed the wide-ranging confusion amongst the personnel of the force. He also confirmed that serving personnel were getting monthly salaries but the administration blocked payment of monthly stipends to the heirs of those soldiers who became victims of terrorism while on the line of duty.
Former MNA from Bajaur, Shahabuddin Khan, said, “We have already recommended the adjustment for personnel of Khasadar forces in Levies forces who fulfil the education and physical fitness criteria. The aged and illiterate may be sent on voluntary retirement through a golden hand-shake policy.”
He further said that the Levies are a regular force, which follows certain criteria for recruitment in it.
During frequent meetings of high-ranking police officials regarding the extension of police system to FATA, adjustment of personnel of Khasadar forces in police system was suggested for those who qualify both physically and educationally.
Meanwhile, the heirs of scores of personnel of Khasadar forces Monday staged a protest demonstration at historical Bab-e-Khyber in Jamrud, Khyber Agency against the non-payment of financial assistance. The protesters along with the children held placards in their hands and blocked the main Peshawar-Kabul Highway for traffic.
The heirs, mostly orphans of those personnel of Khasadar forces who were killed in acts of terrorism, were getting monthly stipends in form of financial assistance from the offices of political agents, which were stopped abruptly.