As many as 4,000 retired army personnel will be recruited to fight street crime in Lahore, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif announced on Tuesday.
Addressing a high-level meeting to review the law and order situation in the province, the chief minister said this would help improve the law and order situation in the city.
Sharif said that the new recruits would perform their duties in coordination with the police to control street crime. He directed the home secretary to initiate the recruitment process with immediate effect.
Chief Minister’s Advisor Jehanzeb Khan Burki, assembly members Pervaiz Malik, Mian Marghoob Ahmad, Hafiz Muhammad Nauman, Shuja Khanzada, secretaries of the Home Department, Finance Department, Prosecution Department and Information Department and inspector general of the Punjab Police were also present.
Sharif stressed the need for an effective strategy to control street crime. He said recruiting retired soldiers was part of the new strategy.
He also ordered the establishment of an anti-crime helpline and sought a report about how it would work by next week.
He said the report should be prepared in consultation with the Information Technology Board chairman.
Sharif directed the officials concerned to ensure that the prosecution of arrested criminals was expedited and cases be submitted to the relevant courts. He also sought a weekly report of various cases from the prosecution secretary.
The chief minister directed police to chalk out a comprehensive strategy to deal with old cases. He ordered the IG and the Capital City Police Officer to submit a progress report in a week on the actions taken on old cases.
He said that the police department should make a comprehensive plan to control extortion across the Punjab.
“The dream of a peaceful society cannot be realised without the eradication of extremism,” he said.
Members of the Assembly were asked to review the performance of police stations in their constituencies and to submit a report to the chief minister in the next meeting on law and order.
The chief minister said that the Citizen Police Liaison Committee should be made functional and the police must ensure prompt registration of FIRs in all cases.
He said the police had been provided with the resources it required and must now produce results.
“Protecting the citizens’ life and property is the government’s foremost priority. It should also be the police’s priority,” he said.
MPA Khanzada briefed the chief minister about the training of Punjab Police in cooperation with the Turkish government. He said more police officers will be visiting Turkey next month.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 29th, 2012.