Minister for State and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Shehryar Khan Afridi on Friday assured the Senate Standing Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas that all-out support would be extended to Levies and Khasadar forces to better equip them, and added that their requirement process would be completed on a priority basis. Briefing the committee members, the minister said both the law enforcement agencies were playing an important role in maintaining peace in the country, and called an immediate meeting to discuss all their issues in detail. He said that keeping in view the recommendations of the committee, all their issue would be resolved at the earliest. The committee held its meeting in Parliament House, with Senator Usman Khan Kakar in the chair.Speaking on the occasion, Kakar said that Levies played an important role in the security spectrum of Pakistan, and “must be given full support”. Deliberating over the budget for the next financial year, the committee stressed the need for allocation and disbursement of funds as per requirement of the federal and provincial Levies. The committee was further informed that a budget of Rs 1.9 billion had been allocated for the 6,595 personnel of the Federal Levies force.He said the force provided security to 90 percent of the population of Balochistan, whereas just 10 percent of the populace was covered by the police. He said that it was sad to observe that 90 percent of the annual budget was allocated to the police, while only 10 percent was assigned to the Levies force. This, he said, barely provided for the department’s basic needs. While deliberating over the assistance package of employees who died or were injured during service, the committee recommended that emoluments must be increased as per escalation in dollar rates. He said that inflation and other factors must be considered as well. While evaluating the status of recommendations made in the last meeting, the members were informed that as per the committee’s directives, rules for the Federal Levies had been submitted to the Balochistan government for approval, after which these would be submitted to the Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas within a month.Kakar said that all allocated funds and facilities should be disbursed among the force members immediately. Senator Kalsoom Parveen was of the view that details of budget allocation must be provided to the committee. She said that the government must take necessary measures for the safety of Levies and Khasadar personnel, who “serve under extreme conditions”. Senator Fida Muhammad Khan demanded details of the past five years related to Malakand Levies in the next meeting. He also asked for a list of personnel martyred and injured in the line of duty. The committee demanded similar details of the Levies personnel serving in all districts of Balochistan.The meeting was attended amongst others by Senator Gianchand, Senator Molvi Faiz Muhammad, Senator Fida Muhammad Khan, Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani, Senator Nighat Mirza, Senator Kalsoom Parveen, Senator Samina Saeed and senior officers from the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Finance.