LAHORE: Another police officer who was relieved of his duty in Punjab for his appointment as senior superintendent of police operations wing in the federal capital “on the request” of Islamabad inspector general was stopped from assuming the charge.
A BS-19 police officer, Omer Saeed Malik, was transferred through a notification on Oct 23 and appointed as Operations SSP of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) in the backdrop of the sit-in staged there by Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl.
When Mr Malik reached Islamabad police headquarters a day after he was relieved of his duty in Punjab, he was not allowed to assume the new charge. He was told by the senior police officers present there that they just received directions from high-ups to stop him from assuming the SSP operations charge till further orders.
“And he (Malik) is still awaiting the order since his transfer from Punjab to Islamabad following an official notification which had clearly mentioned his appointment as Operations SSP,” an official who is privy to the information told Dawn on Monday.
He said Mr Malik was the second BS- 19 officer from Punjab whose transfer was made without seeking his consent for his appointment as SSP of ICT. He was working as Khanewal district police officer at that time.
Earlier, the official said, Sialkot DPO retired Capt Mustansar Feroze was sent back to Punjab in less than 24 hours of his posting against the same position on Oct 19. Mr Feroze was kept in the dark about reasons behind cancellation of his appointment order.
Later, he came to know from his seniors that his appointment notification was withdrawn because of a campaign which tried to link him to the Aug 2016 murder of Barrister Fahad Malik, a nephew of federal minister and former president Muhammadmian Soomro, in Islamabad.
The social media posts claimed that Feroze’s brother Imran, a known lawyer of Islamabad, was a counsel for the murder suspect. One of the posts stated the officer was Chiniot DPO at the time of murder and had allegedly provided a safe passage to the “killers”.
Punjab’s police IG had “rescued” Mr Feroze by allowing him to continue with his assignment as Sialkot DPO, showing his displeasure over the administrative mess in transfer/posting matters in police.
The official said Establishment Division, Islamabad, had sent a request to Punjab police inspector general retired Capt Arif Nawaz to relieve him immediately from the province for his appointment as ICT operation SSP.
He said the Punjab IG was conveyed that Mr Malik was the choice of Islamabad police chief Aamir Zulfiqar for the post for effective handling of the JUI-F ‘Azadi march’ in the federal capital.
The federal police was so much in a hurry that it sent repeated requests to the Punjab IG in a day, asking him to relieve Mr Omer of his charge in the province to post him in Islamabad.
The official said it was not just a routine matter of transfer/posting, rather an issue of humiliation of the officer. He added that under the laid down procedure the appointing authority was officially bound to allow him to assume new charge after issuance of a notification of his posting or sent in writing to the establishment division for cancellation of the notification.
“Particularly, a controversy erupts when a police officer is transferred out of the province through an official notification of his appointment, but is not allowed to assuming charge,” he said.
It is still a mystery why the two police officers were denied posting in Islamabad despite issuance of notifications by establishment division to the effect.
The ICT operations SSP post has been lying vacant since February 2019 when Waqaruddin Syed, who holding the charge, was promoted and appointed as the deputy inspector general of police operations.
The Central Police Office (CPO) had earlier appointed the then AIG (operations) Sardar Ghias Gul Khan as the SSP, but the prime minster cancelled the order very next day.
Presently, Waqaruddin Syed is holding additional charge of the post of ICT SSP.
A senior police officer told Dawn that a powerful bureaucrat was resisting the assumption of charge by Mr Malik.
Published in Dawn, November 12th, 2019