Pak security firms sidestep rules for profit

Private security companies in Pakistan are providing over-aged, untrained and even disabled manpower to the citizens for security purposes in sheer violation of ‘The Punjab Private Security Companies (Regulation and Control) Ordinance, 2002”. The security companies are bound to provide security guards as per standards set by the ordinance. The candidates selected by the company must be at least 5 feet 2 inches in height, aged between 18 and 55 years, educated not less than 8th grade, and must be healthy by all means. As per the ordinance, the security companies are also bound to impart training to their staff – at least two weeks to civilians and one week to retired officials of armed and security forces.

But no company meets the criterion set by the government. An official of a reputed security company seeking anonymity said that they impart training of around 30 minutes to their newly selected security guard. As per the ordinance, the license of a company which fails to meet the set requirements could be cancelled.

The Internal Security Wing of the Home Department had issued instructions to security companies’ managements to arrange elite courses for their staff including training in use of weapons, guard duty, search techniques, bank duty, frisking and others. The government was of the view that by imparting training and teaching security laws to private security guards they could play a role in combating terrorism.

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