LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has approved 9,000 jobs in the police department.

The recruitment process will begin month. A total of 7,700 constables and lady constables will be recruited in a two-phase plan from all districts of the province except Narowal. Another 1,225 traffic assistants will be recruited for Lahore, Sialkot, Gujrawala, Multan, Rawalpindi, and Faisalabad districts.

The move is said to be part of the multi-billion dollar CPEC project. The recruits will guard infrastructure and control traffic in major cities following their months long training.

The development that comes barely months before the general elections may trigger political debate about the recruitment policy and its execution in the days ahead. However, officials said the recruitment was being carried out to meet the shortage of staff since thousands of police have been deployed to provide security cover to the Chinese working on development projects in the Punjab province.

An official said the law enforcement agencies were already facing dearth of staff as the country builds up trained forces to secure many projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.  According to the notifications (copies available with The Nation), at least 4060 Constables and Lady Constables would be recruited in the first phase. Similarly, in the second phase, the government plan recruitment of at least 3,703 constables and lady constables.

Also, at least 1,225 traffic assistants will be recruited including 4,25 in Lahore, 135 in Rawalpindi, 75 in Gujranwala, 100 in Faisalabad, 90 in Multan, and 400 in Sialkot. 

The central police office has issued two separate notifications in this regard. “The competent authority has approved the recruitment of Constables in all districts of the Punjab province (except Narowal district) against the (sanctioned) vacancies,” the notification says.  At least 707 posts of Constables and Lady Constables have been sanctioned for Lahore district.

The maximum age limit for applicants has been reduced from 25 years to 22 years.

Special Recruitment Boards comprising high ranking officers are constituted to execute and supervise the process. The concerned regional and district police officers are direct to ensure best security arrangements at recruitment centers keeping in mind latest threat alerts.