The government had not immediately renewed contracts of these officers, meaning they were all effectively left without a job.
The policemen are part of the Karakoram Security Force (KSF), raised to provide security to Chinese engineers working on upgrading the Karakoram Highway (KKH) in G-B.
“This [end of contract] is no reason to send us home,” bemoaned one of the 225 policemen who lost his job recently.
“We had been hired by fulfilling a certain set criteria and after so many years we are being shown the door,” the former officer said wishing not to be named since it could affect his future job prospects.
“We will take to streets if we are rendered jobless,” said another officer who too had lost his job.
A group of the affected officers, while speaking informally to the media, complained that most of the staff had not been paid their salaries for the past two months.
Established in 2008, the KSF provided security to Chinese engineers working on the KKH from Raikot in Diamer to the Hunza valley.
However, this is not the first time that their contracts have expired and the officers had to face a period of uncertainty. During the Pakistan Peoples Party government in the region, their contracts had expired but the government ultimately chose to renew them.
The then chief minister Mehdi Shah had promised the officers that they would be regularised but the move never transpired owing to budget constraints. The officers demanded that the government settle the issue in line with its established policy.
Faizullah Farak, a spokesman for the regional government, told The Express Tribune that KSF employees would be re-hired as and when their services were required.
“At the moment they are not government employees, which was something mentioned in their contracts,” Farak said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2016.