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Khasadar Force reorganised to enhance capacity

By Our Correspondent 2016-08-04
LANDI KOTAL: The Khyber Agency political administration has completed the re-organisation of the khasadar force into different platoons to increase its capacity.

The relevant administration officials told Dawn on Wednesday that the exercise was initiated in Landi Kotal tehsil two years ago to discourage the absenteeism of khasadar personnel and do away with a certain group holding key posts for long against the rules.

They said junior personnel of the force were posted to checkpoints of choice ignoring efficient and senior officials.The officials insisted most juniors often disobeyed seniors and often assigned their tasks to`proxy khasadars` before absenting themselves from duty.

They said innuential khasadar personnel had prolonged stints at Torkham border and other `rewarding` checkpoints established on the routes frequented by goods smugglers.

The ofHcials said the Fata secretariat`s law and order department had asked the administration many times to stop posting khasadar personnel from outside their respective tehsils and bypassing seniorsforsuch postings,but to no avail.

Theysaidthe creationofplatoons consisting of varying numbers of khasadar officials would end the practice of preferring juniors to seniors for such postings and thus, ensuring the respect of seniors.

Sources at the Khyber House told Dawn that more than 100 khasadar and levies personnel had beenengaged by some former officials of the political administration, former and current parliamentarians, and influential tribal elders and politicalleaders as`personalguards and servants`.

They said almost all khasadar and levies personnel absent from duty for almost a decade had been regularly drawing salary.

When contacted, Khyber Agency political agent Khalid Mehmud said notices had been issued to all absentee khasadar and levies personnel to explain position on the unauthorised absence from duty.

He also said he was considering the termination of officials not complying with his orders.

The political agent said the creation of khasadar platoons along the lines of the army and Frontier Corps would improve the capacity of the two forces through modern combat training.

He said every platoon would be given separate name with a subedar or naib subedar being its headhaving the new rank of junior commanding of ficer.

The political agent said the platoon consisting of 30-40 khasadar personnel would be answerable to their respective JCO and that it could be posted and transferred as a whole.

Some khasadar officials Dawn spoke to welcomed the new platoon system, saying it`ll discourage the practice of preferring juniors to seniors and promote a sense of competition among platoons.

TWO DROWN IN RIVER: A woman and a teenage girl drowned in the River Kabul near Loe Shalman area on Wednesday.

Khasadar officials said Afsana, 13, slipped and fell into the river while collecting firewood on its bank.

They said a woman working in the nearby fields jumped into the river to save the girl but she, too, drowned.

The officials said bodies of the two had yet to be recovered.