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Levies, Khasadar Forces Brought Under Police Command Through Hastily Passed Bills

PESHAWAR: Amid hue and cry raised by the joint opposition, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly on Thursday passed the bill on Levies and Khasadar forces previously operating in the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

The government introduced the bills and got them passed by the assembly immediately and without a debate, thus causing an uproar from the opposition benches. The meeting was chaired by KP Speaker Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani while the bill was introduced by Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Sultan Mohammed Khan.

The bill would bring around 28,000 personnel of the two paramilitary forces under the control of the provincial police.

Earlier, the Levies and Khasadar Ordinances were introduced by the government in June 13 which completed its 90 days of constitutional life on September 10.

The issue led to an outcry from the opposition members because the government tried to pass the bills in a hurry to avoid any illegality in the functioning of the two forces.

From among the two forces, the Khasadars have been a loosely formed force where inductions take place on the basis of kinship.

Opposition members protested the move and started shouting slogans after encircling the speaker’s dice when the law minister introduced the bills in the house.

Opposition Leader Akram Khan Durrani said on the floor of the house that it was the government’s duty to take opposition members into confidence before introducing such important bills. He also cautioned the government against passing these bills in a hurry.

Awami National Party (ANP) parliamentary leader Sardar Hussain Babak said that the government had not discussed this important move with the opposition parties. Personnel belonging to the Levies and Khasadar forces have also held a protest outside the provincial assembly to register their dissatisfaction on the legislation, he added.

He further said that the government should allow members to examine the bills in order to give suggestions for amendments.

He said that after FATA’s merger with KP, Chief Minister (CM) Mahmood Khan had pledged to integrate the Levies and Khasadar forces into the police. Unfortunately, that promise was not kept by the CM, he added.

Meanwhile, Sultan Khan said that the government had already promulgated two ordinances and the new bill is meant to allow successful integration of the two paramilitary forces into the provincial police department.

He also said that the department concerned had also come up with rules for the two forces, adding that the government would approve those drafts soon.

After the passage of the new law, the Khasadars have lost their legal status to continue performing duties in the merged districts and sub-division. The force was established in the former FATA region through executive orders to manage the law and order situation in the said areas within a framework of territorial and collective responsibility.

According to the new law, the force would now have parallel policing powers as exercised by the police under the given rules. The bill also empowers the commandment to order transfers and postings of personnel within the district. Also, recruitment in the Khasadar force would be made according to the law.

The law further reads that the Levies force shall act as an essential service and every member thereof shall be liable to serve whenever he is required to serve by the director general belonging to the police force.

Meanwhile, personnel from the Khasadar force have been protesting outside the provincial assembly to demand their immediate absorption into the provincial police force.

Later, the provincial assembly session was adjourned until September 23.


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