Pakistan cracks down on pot-bellied police

ISLAMABAD Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:15am EDT

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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan is cracking down on portly policemen after only a quarter of the 19,000 officers in the Punjab province passed a fitness test.

Policemen in the South Asian nation are widely seen as corrupt and ineffective. Now their weight is coming under the spotlight as well.

The plump police, responsible for safeguarding the most populous province, were warned in letters to trim their waist-lines to the regulation 38 inches by the end of the month, local newspapers said on Friday.

Those who fail may be removed from field duties, The News reported.

This week local television channels have been repeatedly screening footage of overweight officers. They were shown snoozing in chairs, talking on phones and standing belly to belly, buckles straining.

The coverage made Punjab's Inspector General of Police Habib ur-Rehman even more determined to get his officers fit to fight crime, said a policeman from headquarters in Lahore.

The News reported that several policemen objected to the tests because senior officers had been exempted, and the men conducting them were overweight themselves.

Official police spokesmen were not available for comment, and it was unclear whether the problem affected other Pakistani provinces to the same extent.

Pakistan is fighting the Taliban in the northwest of the country, and criminal gangs in its major port city of Karachi.

(Reporting By Anam Zehra; Writing by Katharine Houreld; Editing by Michael Georgy)

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Comments (3)
JamVee wrote:
I think overall, the police here in the US do a great job, but some of our own cities should probably enact similar rules. I often watch the show Cops, and there are a lot of officers that qualify as “obese”. Not only can it hinder them in performing their duties, it is bad for their health. Police (and other law enforcement) should have the same rules, regarding physical fitness, as active duty military units.

Jun 22, 2012 8:56am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Aftab68 wrote:
They are fond of over eating due to extra money they get from their clients (criminals. Judiciary and Police are most corrupt in our system. At the time of recruitment they are extra fit but after one year’s service even their faces are disfigured what to talk about their bellies.

Jun 23, 2012 10:08am EDT  --  Report as abuse
dougV wrote:
Drop the donut?

Jun 25, 2012 4:04pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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