PESHAWAR: The recent transfers and postings of the regional police officers (RPOs) have led to resentment among senior police officers, as one of the officers has, in protest, asked the provincial police chief to surrender his services to the federal government.
In addition to this, transfers and postings of the district police officers (DPOs) have also raised eyebrows as seasoned officers have been sidelined, while relatively inexperienced officers are given the most sought after posts.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police had notified the reshuffle of RPOs on March 28. Senior officials believe that the IG has been using the powers delegated to him by the chief minister to appoint RPOs and DPOs ‘arbitrarily and irrationally’.
A senior police official said that the posting order of RPOs was unjust, irrational and anomalous as the IG ignored five BS-20 officers for the post of RPO and posted junior officers of BS-19 on acting charge basis.
“When BS-20 officers are available, there is no justification for posting BS-19 officers as RPOs as the apex court has held in various decisions,” the official said.
Three of the seven RPOs posted on March 28 in Mardan, Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan are in BS-19, while DIG inquiry and inspection is also a BS-19 officer.
As a protest, an officer has asked for transfer of his services to centre
Mohammad Ashraf Noor, BS-20, and currently serving as commandant Police Training Centre, Hangu, has in protest written to the KP police chief, asking him that his services be surrendered to the centre.
Mr Noor says in his letter to the KP police chief, a copy of which is available with Dawn, that the recent postings/transfers have pinched him a lot as two of his juniors have been posted on senior assignments.
Mr Noor notes that he has no objection to the IG’s decisions. However, at the same time he asks for ‘gentle exit, which is granted to all and sundry in organisations and that I request my services be surrendered back to the federal government’.
Another official said that one of the senior officers assigned to smaller range was also not happy with his posting. He pointed out that throughout the current IG’s tenure, Peshawar police chief, a BS-20 post, had been assigned to BS-19 officers. He said that posting junior officers to key positions when senior officers were available was incomprehensible and apparently this policy was intended to control and coerce officers to work at the whims of the high-ups, instead of letting them work independently on the basis of principals of operational autonomy.
The official said that DPOs posted to divisional headquarters, including Kohat, Dera Ismail Khan, Nowshera and Mardan, were relatively junior to those officers who had been posted to smaller districts like Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Buner, Lower Dir, Chitral and Swat. “The DPO Kohat has no previous field experience, as prior to this posting he was serving as PSO to IG,” the official said.
He claimed that the police chief had formed a kitchen cabinet of at least three senior officers, who were calling the shots and making all important operational and administrative decisions.
The official said that on the one hand the IG was demanding operational autonomy for himself, on the other he had stripped the CCPO and DPO of all operational and administrative autonomy. “While Article 17 of the Police Order empowers the CCPO to post SSP, SP, ASPs and DSPs in the capital city, the police chief has not only encroached upon this power of the CCPO, but he also wants to get this clause deleted in the proposed police act,” the official said.
Another senior official told Dawn that eight BS-19 officers of the Provincial Police Service (PPS) were posted out of the province. “Five of them are in Balochistan, two in FC and one in FIA, while of five BS-18 officers two are with FIA, one in Gilgit-Baltistan and two in Balochistan,” the official said.
The official said that all the PPS officers of BS-19 had about 20-25 years of service and they had been forced out of the province, while those with 15 years experience were posted RPOs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that KP had a total of 137 senior level police posts, while currently there were 70 officers posted in the province and the remaining posts were vacant.
He said that one of the DPOs had only five-year experience and SP investigation serving under him had 30 years of service. “It is actually musical chair business going on in the police,” the official said.
When approached for his comments, KP police chief Nasir Khan Durrani said that the postings were made on the basis of seniority and suitability for the job. He said that RPOs of Dera Ismail Khan and Bannu were the senior-most among the BS-19 officers.
Mr Durrani said that the provincial officers were transferred by the federal government as per policy and they had also filed a writ in the high court, which was dismissed.
Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2016