ISLAMABAD  - The idea of Tiger Force was conceived from national youth development programme known as  ‘Kamyab Jawan’, which was designed with three basic objectives of employment, technical education and engagement of youth, said Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Usman Dar.

Talking to the Nation exclusively, he said that Tiger Force was part of national programme and a component of Kamyab Jawan’ programme under the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, to engage youth of Pakistan in healthy activities through volunteer work.

The force came into being during the coronavirus lockdown when Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to engage the youth to volunteer and address issues related to human resource for assistance of district administrations.

He said that during coronavirus pandemic, youths come forward to get registered for Tiger Force and it reached to one million strength during Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

More than 359,000 volunteers played frontline role on ration distribution during the lockdown, Dar said.

He said after lifting of the Covid-19 lockdown, Prime Minister decided to take advantage from volunteer services of these youth and on August 9th, Tiger Force Day was observed and tree plantation drive was made, under which approximately 40,00,000 plants were planted.

“They (Tiger Force) were subjected to baseless criticism for political gains in disregard of their services during the difficult times of lockdown,” he said.

Responding to a question about  reservations of opposition about working of the volunteers, Dar said Opposition was trying to politicise the Tiger Force as Opposition keeps objectives to maximize their personal interests but basic concept of Tiger Force relates with serving without any benefit with national esteem.

Youth of Pakistan has an ideological clash with these politician, Dar said while, adding, that in the procession of PDM in Balochistan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that Prime Minister wanted to turn institutions into Tiger Force. Instead of criticizing the volunteers, they should have been appreciated for their services, he added.

“These volunteers are our national heroes as they are serving the country without any monetary interest,” he said.

It would have been far better, if Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and other politician at PDM procession in Quetta have talked about involvement of India in Balochistan and terrorism activities of RAW in Balochistan, he said.

But their focus was Tiger Force, he said.

Almost 350,000 volunteers are working with Tiger Force and there is not a single incident reported to say that any volunteer of Tiger Force was involved in any criminal activity or extortion, he said.

Replying to another question about stipend for these volunteers, Usman Dar said that he has talked with Prime Minister these youths and who are involved in identifying elements responsible for hoarding and other such businesses,  to accommodate them on actual reporting with confirmation of respective DCs and Price control magistrates. 

In this way, this proposal is under consideration to fix some amount for these volunteers taken from hoarders and other outlets on violation, he added.

Usman Dar also added that through the scrutiny of special Branch, we are going to award these volunteers special cards, and on instructions of Prime Minister, these volunteers will also be awarded with honorary certificates for their volunteer working.

It is first time that volunteers are working to a larger number in history of Pakistan with commitment and dedication,said Usman Dar, adding, that these are national heroes and we should appreciate their struggle and services

At present, SAPM said that the volunteers were helping the government to monitor prices of commodities and to identify hoarders. The volunteers share details, with pictures and other related evidence with the government for an appropriate action, he said.

Dar underlined that is starting point of digital governance in the country and through technology, we are taking feedback from the youths.

In this regard, Punjab Information and Technology Board devised a mechanism for volunteers and invited the youth to serve. Around 250,000 volunteers have registered at the portal inugrated by the Prime Minister to take part in government’s effort of controlling prices of commodities.

He said these volunteers have been trained and informed through a notification that their role is to identify and share details including pictures through smart phones to the portal. 

The data goes to the Prime Minister who also receives information from provincial secretaries about prices of commodities and inflation.

He said this force with a large strength working in a transparent way and for this purpose, everyone should appreciate their endeavours.

Dar said that there are 5000 shops in Sialkot city and there are only 16 price control magistrates  in the city. How is it possible that 16 price control magistrates will monitor price control mechanisms at these large numbers of shops.

In this perspective, 16 magistrates cannot check these 5000 shops to monitor price lists and implementation on these prices.

Responding to a question, SAPM said that these youths were part of our national youth development programme, UNHCR did a pilot project on this issue and on the very programme, they identify these three Es that youth of Pakistan should be employed, engage and educated.

He said majority of population of Pakistan consists of youths and it is direly needed to invest on youths in Pakistan. As this thing was already part of our programme and during the Coronavirus pandemic, we tested this undertaking, which proved a successful story to devise a youth force to overcome challenges of human resource with the assistance of youth volunteers, he added.

He added that membership of some volunteers have also been cancelled, if they found involved in some violation or owns any criminal record.

Following the registration process, we make scrutiny of these volunteers through special branch and check their record from respective departments.