Mehrab Shah Afridi

BARA: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has started the process of formally merging Khassadar Force with KP Police in Khyber tribal district by initially issuing notification of merger for 22 personnel.

In the first such notification, 22 personnel from Khassadar Force have been merged into KP Police. Khassadars were holding regular protests for acceptance of their demand of merger with police and getting all facilities and incentives like policemen. Several assurances were made by the provincial government and high-ranking police officials that Khassadars are part of police after merger of erstwhile Fata with KP, but any concrete action in this regard was not taken so far.

Khassadars were not satisfied with verbal assurances of authorities and they were demanding concrete action for their formal merger with police. They were demanding issuance of a formal notification in this regard and provision of all privileges enjoyed by KP Police.

The process has finally kicked off as the Home and Tribal Affairs Department of KP has issued a notification mentioning that 22 senior and regular Khassadar officials have been integrated into KP Police. According to well-placed sources, now all the regular Khassadars will be merged with police in phase-wise manner.

The Khassadar personnel who have been regularised have expressed happiness over their integration into police. However, they said all the remaining Khassadars should be integrated into police with a single notification to remove misconceptions about the process. The Khassadars said it is not difficult for the government to integrate all of them with police with a single stroke of pen and it is also their long standing demand.

The Khassadars said after integration into police, now they must be given all the privileges and facilities of police without delay. They said all the laws applicable for police must be made applicable for Khassadars to remove confusion and misconceptions and ensure justice with all personnel.

On February 10, KP Police had issued notification of merger of Levies and Khassadar personnel from Orakzai, Bajaur, Betani and Darra Adamkhel with police. According to the notification, 1,043 personnel from Orakzai, 2,441 from Bajaur, 425 from Betani and 618 from Darra Adamkhel were merged with KP Police.