PESHAWAR                  -            As many as 450 policemen of Khy­ber tribal district have been issued no­tices as they were found getting ben­efits of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). However, a senior official said the [incumbent] cops were Khassadar personnel in the days they had been enlisted as BISP beneficiaries.

Speaking to The Nation, District Po­lice Officer (DPO) Dr Muhammad Iqbal said that he had issued notices to 450 cops in the tribal district, which re­mained under the British-era FCR law like the other tribal districts, former­ly known as FATA region before their merger into KP province.

“We issued noticed to them but let me make it clear that they were not police­men in the days they had been enlisted as beneficiaries of the BISP, but rather they were Khassadars (tribal police); also, the spouses of these cops were named beneficiaries of the BISP, not they themselves,” Dr Iqbal added.

It may be mentioned here that Khas­sadar and Levier personnel used to per­form in place of the regular police force in the erstwhile FATA region.

The District Police Officer said they have received complete data of 450 cur­rent police personnel receiving money from the Benazir Income Support Pro­gramme for the last several years. He said among the BSIP beneficiaries, 302 were from ex-Khassadar force and 148 from ex-Levies force personnel.

The names of the 450 cops came to light when the authorities start­ed compiling data for the Ehsaas Pro­gram, which was previously known as BISP. According to the authorities, the relief fund distribution among deserving families would begin with provision of amounts to those regis­tered with BISP first and later the oth­er beneficiaries would also be given the amounts, ie Rs12,000 each to de­serving households.

A cop, who was also issued the notice, told this correspondent that as a se­poy in the erstwhile tribal police, they were given a meager salary of Rs16,000, which did fulfil their household ex­penditures. He said his family had to re­ply on the BISP fund too.

The DPO said that they would decide about the cops who were issued notices in the near future but added that they had not availed the BISP fund during the last three years.

To a query, he said that there were 3800 cops of the Police Department in Khyber district. He also said that their training is an issue now because all those were previously serving as Khas­sadars, with no proper training like the regular police force.

“There are around 28000 policemen across all tribal districts now and their training is one of the major challenges facing the law-enforcement machinery,” he added.