LAHORE: The Punjab government’s plan to appoint an officer of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) against a key slot in police seems an ill-advised move that could pitch the two institutions against each other.
The issue surfaced when the Director General Intelligence Bureau recently surrendered BS-20 officer Moin Habib for his transfer to the Punjab police for the next important assignment.
An official who is privy to the development told Dawn that the move stirred a controversy after the name of the officer was discussed at the Central Police Office (CPO), Punjab, for his important posting in Special Branch.
He said the top slot of the department — additional IG, Special Branch Punjab — has been vacant since the transfer of DIG Farooq Mazhar last month to the IB.
The official revealed that Mr Moin Habib was being considered for the additional IG slot and it would be a clear-cut violation of a Supreme Court judgment (Crl.O.P. No 89/2011) if the officer is given a go-ahead.
The Supreme Court ruled that a non-cadre officer could not be appointed in police — not even under Sec 10 of Civil Servants Act.
“If the government posts Mr Habib against the police cadre slot, this will lead to litigation as had happened in Sindh and it caused embarrassment to the government as well as the police department,” said the official.
He said such a decision would also create unrest in the police community.
“There are four Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) DIGs serving in the Special Branch Punjab,” he said, adding that the posting of non-police cadre officer could affect its functioning as the officers could resist the move.
The only such step was taken by the PML-N which after winning the 2008 election posted retired Col Ehsanur Rehman as additional IG, Special Branch Punjab, on a contract.
His posting had disturbed the police officers who questioned the provincial government for appointing a retired military officer against the post of an additional IGP.
Punjab IGP Amjad Javed Saleemi declined to comment on the issue.
Published in Dawn, October 27th , 2018
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