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ISLAMABAD: Punjab Chief Minister Usman Ahmed Khan Buzdar has claimed that he had called the Regional Police Officer (RPO) of Sahiwal and District Police Officer (DPO) of Pakpattan “as an elder according to their traditions” to address fears of the Maneka family.

The CM’s statement was part of a report submitted to the Supreme Court by former Punjab police chief Kaleem Imam on Wednesday.

Earlier on Sept 3, a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, had ordered the police chief to conduct a thorough and independent probe to find out how a stranger, Ahsan Iqbal Jamil Gujjar, in the CM’s presence could interfere in the administrative matter related to a senior police officer.

The SC had taken a suo motu notice of DPO Rizwan Gondal’s transfer for allegedly having an altercation with Khawar Fareed Maneka, ex-husband of first lady Bushra Imran.

IGP recommends no action against Gujranwala PTI chief after his apology

According to a statement forwarded by the deputy secretary of the CM office on behalf of Mr Buzdar, the court was informed that the chief minister was new to his office. Being a chief executive of the province, it said, he called the two officers more as an elder according to their traditions in an attempt to address fears of the Maneka family.

The CM claimed that it was not an official meeting and both the police officers were treated with respect and as per his tradition of hospitality.

Gujranwala Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf president Ahsan Jamil Gujjar, who had asked DPO Gondal in the CM’s presence to meet Mr Maneka at the latter’s “dera”, was also “polite” with them, it said.

The statement added the PTI’s Gujranwala chapter chief “said nothing that would amount to rudeness or intimidation”, as he only requested the officers to address the concerns of the Maneka family members who were feeling harassed and a target of some conspiracy.

The chief minister claimed he learnt on Aug 24 that the Maneka family members were facing some security issue in Pakpattan and feeling that some opponents in connivance with police had hatched a conspiracy to cause a rift among them.

The CM considered it a very sensitive matter as there were reports that fake news about the first lady travelling barefoot had been spread in police circles after which the police had tried to provide security to the Maneka family. This led to an unpleasant incident involving the Maneka family and later another incident happened involving the ex-husband of the first lady and the local police, according to the statement.

Subsequently, Mr Buzdar claimed, he asked his PSO to call the Sahiwal RPO and the Pakpattan DPO, who arrived at 10pm, besides the Gujranwala PTI chief who had conveyed the family concerns to him.

After discussing briefly the crime situation of the region, the CM informed the officers that Mr Gujjar, the PTI office-bearer, wanted to discuss with them a sensitive mater. Mr Gujjar requested the police officers to resolve the issue, explaining that the children of the first lady were afraid and upset as they considered their safety was at risk. The DPO claimed he was trying to resolve the issue but then the RPO assured that he would personally look into and resolve it, added the CM’s statement.

The meeting lasted 45 to 50 minutes in a very friendly atmosphere and ended on a note of thanks from all the sides, according to the statement.

The police chief in his report said the CM at the meeting neither issued any orders nor gave any specific instruction, rather referred the matter to the RPO to resolve it amicably showing due respect to the independence of police officers.

In his recommendations, the IGP suggested that the CM in future should not call any police officers directly to his office rather he should ask the IGP or provincial police officer if any police officer was required to attend CM office in the performance of their duties. Complaints approaching the CM office may be referred to the PPO/IGP for taking appropriate action.

Likewise, no police officer should attend CM office or the office of the minister, or any other office of the government, not falling within their own chain of command, without the express permission of the PPO/IGP, the recommendation stated, adding that no further action was recommended in respect of the PTI office-bearer in view of the apology he tendered during the course of this inquiry.

Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2018