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Political links seen in police officers’ appointments

Updated August 08, 2013

LAHORE, Aug 7: The PML-N-led Punjab government is again appointing police officers having strong political background as district police officers (DPOs).

The latest example in this regard is of SSP Babar Bakht Qureshi who was posted as Okara DPO on Aug 6.

The post of Okara DPO has been filled 15 days after SP Raja Basharat Mehmood was removed over an inhuman act committed by Okara police in which a man and his son were forced to have sex with each other. The chief minister suspended the SP (investigation), SDPO, SHO and others in this case.

The incumbent government has appointed at least four DPOs with political background after winning the May 11 general election. DPOs of Mandi Bahauddin, Chakwal and Hafizabad too have political backgrounds and have worked on the same posts during the previous term of the PML-N government in Punjab.

Mr Qureshi, who has earlier served as Bahawalpur DPO and Lahore SSP (investigation), is the son of Anees Qureshi, who was recently elected MPA from Kasur.

A source at the Central Police Office confided to Dawn that serious attempts were made by police authorities to get chief minister’s nod to appoint Mr Qureshi as Lahore SSP (investigation) recently, but he did not agree.

He said links from judiciary, chief minister’s family and a Gujrat-based renowned shoe-manufacturer were used for his Lahore posting, but all efforts remained fruitless because of reservations about Mr Qureshi who is supposed to be a member of a specific police group and is not even in the good books of the Lahore DIG (investigation). The DIG too opposed his posting under his command, says the source.

The source said after police authorities failed to get him appointed, the chief minister appointed Mr Qureshi as DPO in the district bordering his home district. The source said the provincial government would also appoint

some field police officers with political background to please some politicians.

SSP Qureshi says he has no knowledge of any efforts made for his Lahore posting. He says he has been posted DPO by the government and not on the basis of his efforts. He says neither his written request for the post of SSP (investigation) was formally sent to the chief minister nor the DIG (investigation) expressed his unwillingness to accept him.

In a related development, the Punjab Police inspector general on Wednesday transferred and posted two senior police officers.

According to a handout, AIG (Discipline), Central Police Office Ahmad Arslan Malik was transferred and posted as AIG (Development), Central Police Office vice SSP Babar Bakht Qureshi. SP Raja Basharat Mehmood, who was awaiting posting, was transferred and posted as Punjab Counterterrorism Department SP against an existing vacancy.