Islamabad: Pakistan`s 26,000-strong Frontier Constabulary, that plays a critical role in maintaining security in the restive northwestern border areas, has only 8,000 Kalashnikovs, 500 bullet proof vests and 500 helmets in its arsenal, a media report said.
The deficiency of arms and ammunition that is causing immense difficulties for the personnel in combating terrorism and safeguarding the border areas, was revealed by the force`s chief Abdul Majeed Khan Marwat.
In an interview aired on Geo TV, Marwat, FC Commandant, criticised the current dearth of arms and ammunition and said it would diminish the chances of effective defence in border areas and waging a war against terrorism.
The Frontier Constabulary is different from the Frontier Corps that is under the command of the military.
As per statistics, there are only 8,000 Kalashnikovs, 500 bullet proof vests and 500 helmets in its arms depot for 26,000 Frontier Constabulary personnel while 25 platoons are devoid of any weapons, Geo TV reported.
Talking about the condition of check posts, he said most of the posts being used by troops are in a fragile condition.
There are vacancies for 18 Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) officers in the force but only six are available while rankers have been hired on other positions.
Frontier Constabulary was created by amalgamating Border Military Police (BMP) and Samana Rifles (SR) in 1913.
Both of these were militia forces guarding the border between the then settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and tribal areas.
Frontier Constabulary`s main function was to police the border of KPK and the tribal areas against tribal incursions, criminal gangs operating across the border and check the smuggling of contraband items.
Over time, Frontier Constabulary was assigned additional functions such as assisting other federal and provincial law enforcing (LEAs) agencies in conducting operations against criminal elements and supporting them in law and order situations in addition to fundamental duties in its charter.
A large number of FC troops are also manning security duties in Islamabad`s Diplomatic Enclave, and number of multi-national companies (MNCs) all over the country.