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Hiring of 1,300 men proposed for Karakoram Patrolling Force

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PESHAWAR,HunzaNews February 14th, 2016: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police have proposed the recruitment of 1,300 personnel for the Karakoram Patrolling Force to guard the Karakoram Highway portion passing through the province.

The force was launched earlier this month, Feb 1 to be exact, with 200 personnel hired on contractual basis.

According to the relevant officials, the police department, keeping in view the sensitivity of the situation, sent a summary to the provincial government on Feb 8, 2016, on the creation of the KPF, a new permanent force.

They said the KPF would guard the 390km long stretch of the KKH, which passed through six districts of the province from Haripur to Kohistan and connected it with Gilgit-Baltistan.

The summary seen by this correspondent notes that the KKH route’s strategic importance could not be denied in the backdrop of the current economic and security situation and that both cargo and passenger vehicles moving to and from Gilgit-Baltistan used the highway.

It said the highway was used for hauling supplies to the deployment of the armed forces in the country’s northern areas.

The summary said the same route would also carry immense importance due to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project related hydropower projects.

Force was launched on Feb 1 to protect part of highway passing through KP

It added that Chinese engineers working on various projects, tourists and members of Shia community from Gilgit-Baltistan used the highway and that they came under terrorist attack on several occasions in the recent past while travelling on it.

The summary said there should be foolproof security arrangements to protect security forces convoys, Shias, foreigners, and economic and electricity generation projects in the area.

It called for the creation of a dedicated Karakorum Patrolling Force for those purposes and said the provincial government should take up the issue with the federal government to avoid any mishap, which could cause embarrassment to the country.

The summary noted that the KPF should work on the pattern of the National Highways and Motorways Police and Punjab Highway Patrol.

It added that the hilly terrain of the area was also difficult to patrol compared to the motorway.

According to the summary, a total of 36 posts should be set up along the 390 kilometers stretch of the road passing through the province.

It said 11 check posts would be established along 140 kilometers of the road starting in Haripur and ending in Battagram district. 

Nine check posts will be set up along 90 kilometers of road from Battagram to Kohistan and another 16 for 190 kilometers long stretch of the highway from Kohistan to Diamer.

“The force will be headquartered in Battagram and headed by a SP rank official, who will be assisted by three deputy superintendents of police and six inspectors. The total strength of force will be around 1,305,” it said.

The summary said the creation of the force would cost the province’s kitty Rs2.032 billion annually.

“Of this amount, Rs446.662 million will be meant for the creation of 1,305 posts, Rs1.051 billion for infrastructure, Rs209.50 million for transport, Rs29 million for communication, and Rs296 million for arms,” it said.

A source told Dawn that the formation of such a force was decided in the April, 2015, apex committee meeting and that it was to be set up by the federal government.

He said the provincial government had asked the interior ministry to create the force last year but there came no response. 

A convoy system, under which from 50 to 100 vehicles bound for and from GB were required to move in a group from Diamer district to Besham tehsil of Shangla district in KP, was abandoned on Feb 3 this year.

The system had been in vogue since 2012 following the deadly sectarian attacks on the people travelling to and from GB to other parts of the country.

Published in Dawn

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