Pakistan Chief Tells Police to Lose Weight

Posted June 18th, 2012 at 12:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Thousands of police officers in Pakistan are being told to lose weight or stay behind a desk.

The top police commander in Punjab province, Habibur Rehman, has given 175,000 of his officers until the end of the month to shrink their waistlines to less than 96 centimeters. Otherwise, those deemed too fat will not receive jobs in the field.

A spokeswoman for the inspector general, Nabeela Ghazanfar, told VOA Monday that more than half of the department is overweight, undermining field performance.

Ghazanfar blamed the increasing workload in the last few years for contributing to these numbers. The police spokeswoman said each officer has to perform the work of several people, preventing them from paying attention to their fitness. She said officers are joining gyms, jogging and doing other exercises in order to lose weight.

Local daily The News said the number of overweight officers in Rawalpindi — which houses the country's army headquarters and a target of Taliban attacks — stood at more than 77 percent.