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LAHORE: A fact-finding inquiry tribunal has recommended to the inspector general of police (IGP) counselling of a senior police officer to improve his discipline.

In what could be the first of its kind action, formulated by Punjab Elite Police Force Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Afzal Mehmood Butt, the recommendation was forwarded against Maroof Masood Safdar Wahla, a police officer belonging to the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP). In the past, no such recommendations had been made against any PSP officer over bad behaviour.

Numerous complaints had surfaced against Wahla “bad-mouthing” senior officials a few months back when he was serving in the Special Protection Unit (SPU) of the Punjab Police on a senior post. Consequently, a fact-finding tribunal was constituted on the basis of complaints by junior officials.

“He used abusive language with his subordinates regarding which numerous complaints were received as well as bad-mouthed the office of SPU, additional inspector general (establishment) and additional inspector general (operations),” the tribunal’s report said.

A copy of the report is available with Dawn. It says that out of four allegations, three were proved against Mr Wahla during the inquiry. Consequently, the inquiry officer recommended immediate transfer of the officer from the SPU for “counselling at higher level”.

Interestingly, police authorities posted Wahla as assistant inspector general (training) during the course of inquiry against him. Mr Wahla was also among the officers who had been accused of killing citizens in the Model Town incident of 2014.

According to findings of the inquiry report, “Mr Maroof Masood Wahla, additional director admin SPU, has reportedly used rough language against his subordinates who complained about the same to the SPU DIG on various occasions.

“He broke the chain of command by sending an application for casual leave directly to the additional inspector general (operations) and on another occasion failed to attend an important meeting despite the direction of the SPU DIG, which is unbecoming of a senior officer of his cadre.”

The inquiry officer also pointed out another issue in his findings. “He negligently forwarded a cheque amounting to Rs100,000 to the SPU DIG and in place of the recipient’s name the word “self” was written instead of the name of legal heirs of a deceased official.”

The inquiry officer, however, left this “negligence” to the authorities to interpret and judge whether this was willful financial irregularity or just a mistake.

The inquiry report, however, rejected the allegation of junior staff of corruption against Mr Wahla due to insufficient evidence.

When contacted, Mr Wahla called the transfer and posting a routine administrative matter. He refused to comment further, saying DIG (Headquarters) Shahzad Sultan was the relevant person to talk to.

Mr Sultan, however, refused to comment on the issue.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2018