LAHORE: In a major move, the Punjab government surrendered the services of two former capital city police officers (CCPOs) to the Establishment Division in Islamabad.
The BS-21 and BS-20 officers sent to the Centre were BA Nasir and Zulfiqar Hameed. Mr Nasir was serving as the additional inspector general (IG) establishment and Mr Hameed as additional IG operations.
Both officers have served as the Lahore CCPO and there were strong rumours that they had been transferred for serving the most part of their jobs in Punjab during the tenure of the PML-N. In fact, Mr Hameed’s name was in the fourth spot on the list of 24 deputy inspectors general (DIGs) serving in Punjab for over 10 years consecutively.
According to the list prepared by the Central Police Office (CPO), Mr Hameed has served for 20 years, 20 months and 26 days consecutively in Punjab on various prime slots – primarily during the PML-N’s previous tenures. He has enjoyed the post of the CCPO twice besides being appointed the regional police officer.
Well-placed sources in the Punjab government said that more names were being discussed for their transfer out of the province on the same grounds and the government was trying to select their replacements from other provinces. They said that Inspector General of Police (IGP) Inam Ghani was taken on board on all the future transfers.
He was called by the chief minister for a meeting a couple of days back where the replacement of those police officers was discussed who had been posted in the province during the PML-N’s tenure and had a soft corner for the party.
A requisition has been moved by the Punjab government seeking three senior police officers serving in BS-20 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, including DIG Ahmad Jamalur Rehman in KP, Agha Yusuf in Balochistan and Sharik Jamal, awaiting posting, the sources said.
Cases of five superintendents of police (SPs) and a senior superintendent of police (SSP) from other provinces were already pending for approval with the Punjab government for their postings.
An official privy to the information said the Punjab government was unhappy with the recent activities of nearly 50 police officers after they held a meeting at the CPO to show their resentment against CCPO Umar Sheikh. They had drafted a resolution against the CCPO and extended support to former IGP Shoaib Dastagir.
The transfers out of the province were also being linked to the same incident.
On the other hand, some independent officers called the transfers of the two senior officers “politically motivated”. They believed that since the police department was already facing a shortage of senior offices, such developments would aggravate the situation.
Requesting anonymity, a senior police officer said that out of the 18 sanctioned posts of additional IGs in Punjab, 13 were occupied.
Recently, Punjab Additional IG (Finance and Welfare) Tariq Masood Yasin had also refused to work under his “junior”, IGP Inam Ghani. Providing some context, he said the government could not yet find a BS-21 police officer for posting against the recently created post in south Punjab that fell vacant after the transfer and subsequent posting of Mr Ghani as the provincial police chief.
So, the transfer of BA Nasir, and more expected in the future, will seriously affect the functioning of the force.
Mr Yasin further added that according to a years-long tradition, the police officers in BS-21 usually avoided postings out of a province unless they were assured of the IGP’s post.
Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2020