Five Khyber villages near Torkham will be governed by the country’s law
The federal government has extended Police Act 1861 to Federally Administered Tribal Areas in an attempt to give policing powers to the Levies force in the region, sources said on Saturday. Policing powers and judicial structure, on the lines of Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, have been given to Levies in FATA, after approval by President Mamnoon Hussain.
The changes in judicial structure empower the political agent with judicial powers. The changes allow judicial role to the political agent and subordinate offices as well as nomenclature changes in the office of the Levies forces that substitute the Police Act to be implemented in the villages but with changes in the context of FATA. The head of the Levies would be called ‘Commandant of the Federal Levies Force’.
The term ‘court’ as defined under the amended act would now mean the ‘court of assistant political agent Landi Kotal’, and ‘special court under the high court’.
‘Tehsil Landikotal’ includes Torkham, Khyber Agency bounded by the village Bacha Mela, Torkham Gate, Shamshad Hill Top watershed and Ayub FC Picket Kabalo Mela.
The political agent of the appropriate jurisdiction will now hold the powers of a sessions judge, magistrate, magistrate of first class, district magistrate while the APA will be a judicial magistrate.
In this regard, the Federal Ministry for States and Frontier Regions (Safron) issued a five-page Statutory Regulatory Ordinance, pointing out the changes made in the act dealing with policing powers and judicial structure in the area. The provincial police has been replaced by the Federal Levies Force, ‘sub-inspector’ has been replaced with naib tehsildar, (passport) Torkham.
While the definition of the police station under the SRO means “any place designated to be so by the federal government”.
The role of the district coordination officer will now be played by political agent of the Khyber Agency or any officer appointed by the federal minister in-charge.
The legal framework will be regulated by the Frontier Crimes Regulation of 1901. The ‘Evidence Act of 1872’ will also be replaced by the Qanun-e-Shahadat of 1984.
An official working at the Torkham border pass confirmed that the law had now been implemented and they had received the instructions.
“We will now have the powers to execute our powers in accordance with the new law,” he said. With the implementation of this order, the Torkham border will no longer be a walk-through post – passports and other papers of travellers will be checked by the border staff.