Lahore: Pot-bellied police officers in Pakistan`s most populous province of Punjab have been asked to shed the flab, failing which they will be withdrawn from frontline duties.
Inspector General of Police Haji Habibur Rehman has warned policemen posted at 100 model stations to bring down their waistlines to 38 inches.
The Police Chief has set June 30 as the deadline for overweight members of his force to lose the flab.
He issued the directive after a recent survey found 77 per cent of junior police officials in Rawalpindi district were pot-bellied.
"The decision to this effect was made at a meeting that reviewed the working of the 100 model police stations in the province," Punjab Police spokeswoman Nabila Ghazanfar told a news agency on Monday.
The overweight policemen have been asked to join gyms, to start jogging and to control their diet, she said.
"We are serious about addressing the issue of overweight officials as smart policemen are required to deal with criminals," Ghazanfar said.
Rehman came up with the drive against overweight policemen after attacks on members of his force posted for field duties increased.
Asked whether all the policemen would be able reduce their weight in such a short period, Ghazanfar said: "Yes, they can if they are serious. And the IGP want serious men in his team. "
Ghazanfar said once the order was implemented in the model police stations, it might be replicated across the province.
Punjab, a province of 90 million people, has a police force of 180,000 to maintain law and order and tackle terrorism.
In a recent article, The News daily reported that the policemen of Punjab appeared to be "losing the battle of the bulge".
Police officials will conduct examinations at the model police stations on July 1 and policemen who are not in shape will be immediately removed from field duties and moved to police lines.