RAWALPINDI: Police officers selected to head special squads for the security of former prime ministers Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Pervez Ashraf have reportedly refused to join the duty terming the move unlawful. Some of them have gone on medical leaves, it has been learnt.
Just one day before the end of the term of the PPP government, the then prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf ordered an “unprecedented security protocol” for himself and his predecessor Yousuf Raza Gilani.
“The former prime ministers have also asked for two police mobile squads and one mobile squad of Rangers for the security of their wives,” a senior police official said. “Such a large number of police personnel cannot be reserved for private persons and their wives," he added.
Each police squad comprises 75 policemen and is led by a superintendent of police, two deputy superintendents and four inspectors.
One SP and two DSPs were selected for the security of former prime minister Gilani during his stay and movement in the federal capital territory and his hometown of Multan.
A similar police squad will be on a standby for the security of Ashraf in the capital city and his hometown.
An interesting situation developed on Saturday when the special squad of the Islamabad police was directed by the inspector general of police, Banni Amin Khan, to immediately report to Mr Gilani at his residence in F-10/4.
“Though the low-ranking police personnel, who were ex-armymen inducted into the police on a three year contract, reached Mr Gilani’s residence, the SP and two DSPs refused to join them saying they were sick,” a police source said.
He quoted the SP as saying that he would not be available for the duty till Sunday.
One of the DSPs said he was going to hospital for a medical check-up as he was having a cardiac problem. A similar excuse was made by the other DSP, who said that his vehicle had developed some mechanical fault and he himself was suffering from pain in the legs. He said he was 55 years of age and could not perform field duty.
One of the SPs interviewed by the chief security officer of the prime minister a few days back said: “Retired station house officers should be deployed for security duty of the former prime ministers.”
The superintendents of police interviewed for the ex-prime ministers’ security duty were Mustanser Feroze (investigation), Farukh Rashid (diplomatic protection division), Dr Ghayas (headquarters), Ishfaq Ahmed (Industrial Area) Sardar Sadaqat (rural), Mehr Yar (anti-terrorist squad) and Captain Ilyas (City). On March 15, a batch of DSPs was interviewed for the special security squads.
A senior police official said all the SPs refused to join the special squads for the ex-prime ministers, saying they had not received any instructions from the Establishment Division.
On the other hand, the police high-ups also conveyed their concern to the authorities that the police would be misused by the ex-prime ministers during their election campaigns. Besides, their opponents would raise objection for using the police, the source said.
It may be noted that special security was also to be provided to former prime ministers Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and Nawaz Sharif during their movement in the twin cities. As many as 15 personnel of Rangers and the same number of Frontier Constabulary personnel with three police and a Ranger vehicle would accompany them.
Under the new directive for the security of the former prime ministers, 450 personnel would be taken out from the ICT police. The vacant positions would be filled with fresh recruitment later.