PESHAWAR -- Khasadars and Levies personnel from the newly merged districts have begun training with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Police as part of their absorption into the force.
"A first batch of 360 Khasadars and Levies personnel are undergoing training in different police lines in the province," Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Training Arif Shahbaz Wazir said on Monday (August 17).
"The Levies and Khasadars will receive training on how to use weapons and how to politely deal with the public and they will be educated about the relevant sections of law," Wazir said.
Those taking part in the training, which officially began on August 3, are part of about 29,000 Khasadars and Levies personnel from the tribal districts who are being absorbed into the police force as part of a programme approved by the KP government.
The merging of the paramilitary groups with the KP Police began in February, according to officials.
Along with the army, Khasadars and Levies forces in North and South Waziristan, Kurram, Orakzai, Khyber, Mohmand, Bajaur and other frontier regions helped in the fight against terrorism for almost two decades, and hundreds lost their lives in the line of duty.
Terrorist activities and other crimes such as extortion and targeted killings in the newly merged districts have sharply declined after police took over law enforcement in the region, according to a KP Police report in June.
Countering terrorist attacks
The former semi-autonomous tribal region of Pakistan, which was once considered a safe haven for militants and internationally wanted terrorists, was outside the domain of regular police forces and fell under a colonial-era law known as the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR).
District police officers now have been posted in all the newly merged districts. In addition, police stations now are working in all tribal areas to improve law and order and protect against terrorism.
Inspector General KP Police Sanaullah Abbasi watched the Khasadars and Levies start their training at police lines in Peshawar and Swabi on August 6 and directed the instructors to ensure quality training for the two groups.
Police in the tribal districts received 60 new vehicles and ammunition in the tribal districts in the past month, Abbasi announced during his visits.
The two-month training programme of the Khasadars and Levies includes one month of physical training followed by a month of being attached with different police stations, said Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Peshawar Mohammad Ali Gandapur.
"Around 40 officials from Khyber District and the Hassankhel subdivision of Peshawar are currently being trained at the Malik Saad Shaheed Police Lines in Peshawar," Gandapur said.
More personnel are being trained in Mardan, Swat, Nowshera, Swabi, Kohat and Dera Ismail Khan, he added.
"Most of the Khasadars and Levies need proper training to run the affairs of police stations and effectively maintain peace and counter terrorist attacks in the newly merged districts," said Imran Afridi, an elder from Khyber District.
The training will help restore peace and eliminate terrorist groups from these areas, he said.
"The police in the newly merged districts have already done a great job in the last few months and will further help improve law and order in coming months," said Afridi.