Lodhran DPO transferred on ‘Tareen camp demand’

Published May 24, 2021
In this file photo, Jahangir Tareen speaks to the media outside the Lahore High Court. — DawnNewsTV
In this file photo, Jahangir Tareen speaks to the media outside the Lahore High Court. — DawnNewsTV

LAHORE: Upholding merit in transfer and posting matters in Punjab police has become a daunting task as the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, which has already removed five provincial police heads during the last three years, succumbs to growing interference in administrative issues by party MPs and coalition partners.

The latest victim of this practice is the Lodhran district police officer Karrar Hussain Syed who got the marching order on Saturday on the demand of some Jahangir Khan Tareen’s like-minded group of parliamentarians.

He has been replaced by Abdul Rauf Babar Qaisrani, a ‘junior most’ police officer of grade 18 hailing from DG Khan.

An official privy to the development told Dawn the replacement of the Lodhran DPO was one of the top demands of the Tareen group when it met Chief Minister Usman Buzdar a couple of days back.

Official replacing him is too junior to hold a field position

Part of the Tareen camp team, two MPAs reportedly told the CM that Mr Karar Husain Syed was not resolving their local issues.

On the first day of his posting in Lodhran last year, Karar had received a message from a senior PTI leader of Lodhran ‘not to assume charge of the post’. He was conveyed at that time that the Punjab government had not consulted Jehangir Khan Tareen before making his appointment as the DPO.

When matter was brought to the notice of the then IGP Shoaib Dastgeer, he directed Karar to follow the department decision and assume charge. Demands of complaining MPs included posting of junior police officials as SHOs, grant of permission to hold a mega dog-fight event and to withdraw a departmental action against a police official who was held guilty of charges in an inquiry.

The transfer of Karar once again exposes the ‘weak position’ of incumbent Inspector General of Police Inam Ghani who could not take a just stand. He looked the other way when Mandi Bahauddin DPO Ali Raza was transferred on the ‘demand’ of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q recently.

Another official said there was a big question mark on Karar’s replacement in Lodhran. He said Abdul Rauf Babar Qaisarani belonged to 40th Common and was too junior to hold the DPO office.

He said all the police officers from the 39th Common and serving in Punjab were senior to Mr Qaisrani but none of them had yet been posted as head of any district police for lack of field position experience.

Like, the official said, Mr Gazanfar Syed from the 39th Common was serving as SSP Investigation Rawalpindi, Capt retired Zeshan Haider as SSP Operations Multan, Dr Fahad Ahmad as Battalion Commandant, PC-2, Rawat etc.

Presently, he said, the Central Police Office was considering police officers from from the 38th Common as suitable candidates for posting as DPOs in Punjab being experienced officers as a majority of them had served against multiple field positons.

This batch comprises of 17 police officers of Bs-18 and a majority of them were posted in Punjab.

Under the given policy, the police officers on being promoted as SP were rotated in districts for field, semi-field and other assignments to groom them before giving major positions like head of the district police.

Following this practice, many from the 38th Common got postings as DPOs in Punjab province.

Of them, Mohammad Bin Ashraf is heading Chakwal district police, Ali Raza in Layyah, Rana Mohammad Umar in Toba Tek Singh, Bilal Zafar in Chiniot and Ali Wasim is heading the Khanewal district police.

Some other officers of the same batch are serving against other positions, including Mohammad Afzal as SSP Operations in Faisalabad, Amir Niazi as SSP Investigation in Multan etc.

“The appointment of a junior most police officer from the 40th Common has not only triggered a debate on the persistent political victimization/interference but also on the criteria for the appointment of head of the district police in Punjab,” the official said.

Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2021

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