LAHORE: A sudden move by the federal government to spare the services of Islamabad Inspector General of Police Tariq Masood Yasin for posting in Punjab a few weeks before the retirement of incumbent IGP Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera has surprised senior police officials.
With Mr Sukhera due to retire on April 10, his replacement is considered ‘very crucial’ ahead of the coming general elections.
Some senior police officers Dawn talked to are convinced that Mr Yasin may get some important assignment in the largest province since he has delivered up to the satisfaction of those who matter during his 11-month service as the Islamabad police chief.
“Since Mr Yasin is junior to other officials being tipped for the coveted slot, he may be considered for any other important assignment like the next Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) of Lahore,” says a senior official. Mr Yasin belongs to the 17th Common while his senior colleagues are from the 14th and 16th Common.
In a letter on March 20, the Establishment Division sent a request to the Interior Division to spare the services of the Islamabad IGP for Punjab. “The letter surfaced when no summary or any such correspondence was made between the Prime Minister Secretariat and the department concerned about his replacement or transfer,” the official said.
“Some authorities in the federal capital wanted to get him transferred to Punjab after he took several pending projects close to completion and laid hand on corrupt mafia as the Islamabad IGP.”
Sources said three senior police officers are leading the `race’ to the all important office. They are Punjab’s Additional IGP Operations Arif Nawaz (14th Common), Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Amin Wains (16th Common) and Punjab Highway Patrol Additional IGP Amjad Javed Salimi (14th Common).
Police circles consider Arif Nawaz better placed among the three for his closeness with the outgoing IGP whose recommendations to the chief minister can matter. Nawaz has actively launched IT-based initiatives under Sukhera.
The Lahore CCPO is another strong candidate for this slot for having sound profile, particularly for heading the provincial capital and launching many IT-based initiatives. He is also considered to be in the good books of the chief minister and other important circles.
Another official said Special Branch Additional IGP Faisal Shahkar and Training Additional IGP Usman Khatak are also being considered for the IGP slot. He said Mr Khattak is senior to all those being tipped for the slot but he is due to retire later this year.
He said Faisal Shahkar is known as a thorough professional police officer.
Published in Dawn, March 24th, 2017