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LAHORE, April 13: Punjab police authorities have got approval from the finance department to hire services of special police (majority of them are retired policemen and servicemen) for security duty in connection with the general elections 2013.

Authorities can officially hire up to 97,000 special police comprising retired policemen and servicemen.

IGP Aftab Sultan on Saturday issued a directive to all field police officers to complete hiring of special police for three-day (May 10-12) election duty till April 23.

Mr Sultan told Dawn that an advertisement would soon be published in print media about hiring of officials in their respective districts who would be given under the command of local police stations for security duties. “Rs200 per day allowance for each official is under consideration.”

He said the temporary hiring was usually made in election days keeping in view the shortage in the police department.

Another official privy to the development told this reporter that police this time needed at least 150,000 officials including special police (ex-policemen, servicemen, and para-military personnel) and serving 24,613 PQRs (Police Qaumi Razakars) and officials of allied departments for the election.

He said as many as 124,200 officials, including PQRs, special force and serving officials of allied departments were part of general and security duties in the 2008 elections.

The official said the finance department had allowed hiring retired officials for special police up to the 97,000 limit. He, however, said it was premature as to how many retired officials would show interest as they did not turn up in good numbers in past elections. He said police had also got approval from the government to recruit more PQRs ahead of polls.

As per instructions, all the retired policemen, army personnel, and other retired security officials, who are physically and mentally fit, would be asked to contact the District Police Lines in their respective areas for election duties.

The applicants should have a valid ID card, pension papers, and discharge certificate for election duties.

The services of the retired officials would be hired only for election days.