ISLAMABAD: Lahore’s Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Mohammad Umar Sheikh, who invited severe criticism for ‘blaming’ the victim after the motorway gang-rape was reported to police recently, has been in litigation with the federal government over denial of promotion to BS-21.
According to the report of the Establishment Division and the Central Selection Board (CSB) submitted to the Islamabad High Court in response to the petition of Mr Sheikh, “during his [Sheikh] four-year posting in Washington DC, his Performance Evaluation Reports (PERs) were downgraded four times”.
“Seven PERs of the officer have been downgraded during his career,” it said.
In his petition, Mr Sheikh made startling revelations and even expressed doubts over the integrity of the CSB members. One of CSB members was Inspector General of Police (IGP) Shoaib Dastgir who was transferred soon after Lahore CCPO’s appointment without his consultation.
The CCPO claimed that the CSB had superseded him to promote a junior but ‘blue-eyed’ person of influential agencies in BS-21 even though the latter was once an accused in Mir Murtaza Bhutto murder case and was also ‘responsible’ for the tragic Sahiwal incident in which a couple, their teenage daughter and their driver were killed by a Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Police in a fake encounter, off the motorway.
IHC verdict on challenge to denial of promotion awaited
According to Mr Sheikh’s petition, he was at serial 9 on the seniority list while “the officer at serial number 19… has been promoted and the entire supersession of the petitioner has been done in order to accommodate him. Due to certain actions that the junior officer took at the behest of ‘influential agencies’, he was rewarded by the blatant out of turn and unjustified promotion, the CCPO alleged. The officer, who was heading the CTD when the Sahiwal incident happened, was suspended from service only to be reinstated later in March 2019.
The petitioner said: “The said officer was also named as accused in the case pertaining to death of PPP (SB) leader Mir Murtaza Bhutto and was acquitted by a court in 2009.”
He claimed that a CSB member had a grudge against him and opposed his promotion, because the petitioner did not help his “brother-in-law in oil smuggling scam”. The CSB had awarded “C” category to Mr Sheikh.
After hearing the petitioner, establishment division and others, a division bench of the Islamabad High Court comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Lubna Saleem Pervaiz had reserved the decision in the case last month.
Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2020