PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan while expressing his displeasure on the delay in appointment of Chief Protection Officer (CPO) of Child Protection and Welfare Commission, has directed the highups of Social Welfare Department to immediately complete all the formalities and prerequisites for the appointment of the CPO so that the Commission could be fully functional.

The Chief Minister remarked that protection of children and other vulnerable segments of society against violence and exploitation, protection of their rights was one of the priority areas of his government adding that all the available resources would be utilized for the purpose.

He further directed the highups for necessary steps to fully operationalize the Child Protection Units in all the districts of the province as provided in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Protection and Welfare Act.

He issued these directives while chairing a meeting of Child Protection and Welfare Child Commission here yesterday.

The meeting was given a detailed briefing about the objectives and mandate of the Child Protection Units (CPUs), proposed amendments in the service regulations of the commission, progress on appointments of necessary staff for the CPUs, reasons for delay in the appointment of the CPO and other related matters.

Besides Provincial Minister for Social Welfare, Hisham Inamullah, MPAs, Pir Fida Muhammad, Dr. Sumera Shams and Ayesha Bano, the meeting was also attended by Principal Secretary to CM, Shahab Ali Shah, Secretary Social Welfare Idrees Khan, Deputy Chief Child Protection, Ijaz Khan and other concerned quarters.

The Chief Minister directed the concerned quarters to propose necessary amendments in the existing rules and regulations to remove the hitches in the appointment of the CPO and to constitute Search and Nomination Council for the purpose within fifteen days positively.

He termed the establishment of the CPUs of vital importance with regard to the protection of vulnerable children against violence and exploitation, and directed the concerned quarters to take result oriented steps to operationalized these units across the province further directing to expedite hiring process of necessary human resources for these units.

Mahmood Khan also directed that the mechanism for appointment of the CPO and a strategy to make CPUs operational be finalized in all respects and presented in the next meeting of the commission for approval.

The meeting approved to give additional charge of the CPO to Deputy Chief Child Protection till the appointment of the full time CPO to run the day to day business of the Commission.