LAHORE: The reshuffle of senior police officers continued in Punjab on Saturday, as Inspector General of Police Inam Ghani transferred six more deputy inspectors generals (DIGs) and 68 deputy superintendents of police (DSPs).
The Punjab government has so far reshuffled over 200 police officers in the province, since the opposition parties announced a country-wide ‘agitational movement’.
Under the prevailing political scene, the most significant posting made on Saturday was of BS-20 officer Sarfraz Ahmad Falki as new city police officer (CPO) of Gujranwala, that will be hosting a “massive” rally to be staged by the opposition alliance the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) on Oct 16.
Six DIGs and 68 DSPs reshuffled
It is said to be a test case for Mr Falki as the Punjab government had been looking for a ‘strong headed’ police officer as Gujranwala CPO to give a tough time to the opposition parties, an official privy to the information told Dawn.
He said Mr Falki was among the six officers of DIG rank whose services were placed at the Punjab government’s disposal on Oct 7.
There was a strong impression that the government was trying to bring back to Punjab the police officers who had been surrendered from the province during the PML-N government’s tenure in order to give them important assignments to ‘suppress’ the PDM movement.
Similarly, it had also “expelled” on Oct 6 nine senior police officers from Punjab, suspecting they had a ‘soft corner’ for the PML-N.
The official said most of the transfers/postings made during the last few weeks were “politically motivated” and had nothing to do with improving governance or performance of Punjab police.
He said Mr Falki had been serving in Multan and other districts, and was shortlisted after being considered the “best replacement” for his predecessor Rai Babar Saeed in Gujranwala.
Mr Saeed was reportedly removed from the CPO post as it was apprehended that he won’t be able to ‘handle’ the PDM rally to be held in the city as per the government’s expectations.
He said Mr Saeed was among the seven DIG rank officers whose services were surrendered to Islamabad on Oct 6. Others included the then Special Protection Unit (SPU) DIG Bilal Siddique Kamyana, Elite Police Punjab DIG Akthar Abbas, Punjab DIG Welfare Shaukat Abbas, Punjab Highway Patrol DIG Humayun Bashir Tarrar and deputy commandant of Punjab constabulary Inksar Khan Afghan.
The Gujranwala Operations SSP Dr Fahad Ahmed was also changed on the same grounds, the official said.
The transfer of two senior police officers within a few months of their posting, had perturbed the police community in Punjab.
Talking about Saturday’s transfer postings, he said, the appointment of senior officer Imran Mehmood as new Punjab traffic DIG again raised many eyebrows in the department, especially those belonging to the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) as he was the 6th to be heading the wing during the last two years or so. Earlier, Sahibzada Shahzad Sultan, Riaz Nazir Garha, BA Nasir, Farooq Mazhar and Akhtar Abbas had been heading the wing for short spans.
The traffic wing of Punjab police is in the limelight these days over two worrying reports of massive corruption.
Former investigation Lahore DIG Dr Inam Waheed, awaiting posting, also succeeded in getting new assignment as deputy commandant of the Punjab Constabulary.
Similarly, Shariq Jamal, who was recently placed at the disposal of the Punjab government and waiting posting has been appointed as telecommunication and & transport DIG against an existing vacancy.
Another DIG-rank officer, Dr Mohammad Abid Khan, has been posted as Punjab Highway Patrol DIG and Munir Masood Marth as investigation and monitoring DIG against a vacant post.
The IGP also transferred and posted 68 DSPs all over the province.
Published in Dawn, October 11th, 2020