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Cheema set to take over as IGP Islamabad

ISLAMABAD, June 7: Zulfiqar Cheema, a grade 21 officer of the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) currently working as the director general of passports and immigration, is most likely to assume the charge of the inspector general of police (IGP), Islamabad.

Sources close to Mr Cheema said he made calls to his subordinates who worked with him in different parts of Punjab and called him to Islamabad, saying he was set to assume the charge of the IGP.

However, a notification in this regard is yet to be issued.

Mr Cheema enjoys good reputation among the police organisations and his colleagues and subordinates consider him to be an outstanding officer.

Last month, he called two senior officers of Rawalpindi passport office along with official record to his office.

Soon after, on his request to senior officers of the capital police, the Margalla police reached his office and took the two officers in their custody on the charges of corruption.

He later asked the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to arrest them and register a case against them but the agency refused.

The two officers remained detained in the passport office at G-8 with the help of the Margalla police and were released late in the night.

Mr Cheema also has close ties with the ruling PML-N as he served as the senior superintendent of police in Lahore when Nawaz Sharif was the chief minister of Punjab.

He also served as the chief security officer to Mr Sharif during his first tenure as the prime minister.

Those who have worked with Mr Cheema said he had a good reputation and zero tolerance for crime and corruption.

On the other hand, many other police officers were of the view that he may be used by some members of the ruling party to settle scores with their rivals in Islamabad.

It may be recalled that Mr Cheema was removed from the post of the regional police officer Gujranwala in August 2010 after two young brothers were beaten to death by a mob in Sialkot on the suspicion of being robbers.

A policeman close to Mr Cheema said he uprooted criminals from Sheikhupura and Gujranwala.

During his posting as RPO Sheikhupura in 2012, he along with his team killed a bully, a brother in-law of a former law minister Punjab, in an encounter.

The criminal carried a head money of Rs5 million and was involved in kidnapping for ransom and robbery cases.

Though official record showed it as an encounter, actually the police made a plan and succeeded in killing the bully at the hands of his accomplices, he added.

He along with his team also killed a gangster – Nano Goria – while serving as RPO Gjuranwala, the policeman said, adding Goria was involved in extortions and kidnapping for ransom.

Though the official record showed that Goria was killed during an encounter, actually he was in police custody after being brought back from Malaysia with the help of Interpol, said the policeman.