ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to clear the long-pending dues of Khasadar force of South Waziristan district.
In this connection, the Finance Division has agreed to release funds amounting to Rs1,229.576 million for the payment of salaries to the Khasadars, who have been deprived of their salaries for the past 10 months, leaving them in a great ordeal.
The tribal paramilitary force that faced militancy in the tribal areas with great determination, was forced to boycott polio security duties and abandon border check posts in protest. However, they later called off their protest in honour of Ramzan.
The letter, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, reads, “Finance Division agrees to release funds amounting to Rs1,229.576 million duly approved by ECC/federal cabinet as supplementary grant under Demand No.100-FR during CFY 2018-19 in connection with the payment of salaries to the Khasadars of South Waziristan, tribal district and fulfillment of all codal formalities. Reference Ministry of States and Frontier Region’s O.M. No.F.1 (9)-budget/2017 dated 10-05-2019, this issues with the approval of special finance secretary vide No.Dy.1079/SSF.2019 dated. 15-05-2019 and the amount of supplementary grant of Rs.1,229.576 million has also been declared from ways and means point of view by budget Wing vid No.Dy.3572/AFS(Budget) 2019. dated 21-05-2019.”
“Accordingly SAFRON Division is requested to submit the schedule of the supplementary grant of Rs1,229.576 million for endorsement by this FA organisation,” it was added.
In February 2019, when Khasadar force threatened to boycott the polio campaign in the tribal district of South Waziristan, the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) was asked to release the long-delayed amount to clear their pending salaries. A summary in this regard was sent by the Merged Areas Secretariat to SAFRON secretary for the continuation of a smooth and uninterrupted polio campaign in the trouble-hit area.
The summary reads, “Khasadar is a corollary of collective and territorial responsibility system prevailed in the Merged Areas (erstwhile FATA). It is a privileged bestowed upon section or sub-section of a tribe for assuming the responsibility. Since, the British Regime, they have been appointed and drawing salaries through DDO.”
Earlier, a demand for Rs54.191 million was made by South Waziristan DC but now, the concerned DC has requested for the release of Rs1,518.574 million on account of salaries of Khasadars for the remaining period of the current financial year 2018-19 i.e. January to June 2019. However, the finance ministry agreed to release Rs1,229.576 million to clear their pending salaries.
It is pertinent to mention here that the additional demand was made due to inadequate allocation of funds to South Waziristan DC during last three years i.e. 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 and revision of pay scales in 2017, besides payment of arrears to those Levy/Khasadar personnel whose salaries were stopped due to non-computerisation.
The summary reads that in the current financial year 2018-19, against the original demands Rs1276,379,294/- of South Waziristan, the ministry of SAFRON have allocated Rs737,358,000 to deputy commissioner of the district for the Employees Related Expenditure (ERE).