ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: In yet another top-level reshuffle in Punjab bureaucracy, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government on Tuesday changed the police chief and chief secretary of the province.

Sardar Ali Khan has become the 7th Inspector General and Kamran Ali Afzal the 5th Chief Secretary of Punjab during three years of the PTI government.

Sardar Ali has replaced Inam Ghani as Punjab police chief, while Kamran Ali took charge from outgoing chief secretary Jawad Rafique Malik.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar had recently met Prime Minister Imran Khan and informed the latter about his decision to make changes in his administrative and political teams. PM Khan had approved the decision.

The federal cabinet endorsed the decision on Tuesday and later the Establishment Division issued notifications about the new appointments.

The notification stated: “Mr Inam Ghani, a BS-21 Officer of Police Service of Pakistan, presently serving as Provincial Police Officer (PPO), Government of Punjab, is transferred and posted as Inspector General, Pakistan Railways Police, under Railways Division.”

The notification about the appointment of the new IG said: “With the approval of the Federal Government, Sardar All Khan, a BS-21 Officer of Police Service of Pakistan, presently serving under Government of Punjab, is transferred and posted as Provincial Police Officer (PPO), Government of Punjab.”

Two months after coming into power, the PTI government changed then Punjab IG Kaleem Imam on Sept 11, 2018, and replaced him with Mohammad Tahir.

Mr Tahir remained the Punjab police chief for only about a month and was replaced by Amjad Javed Saleemi on Oct 15, 2018. Mr Saleemi remained in office till April 17, 2019, and was replaced by retired Captain Arif Nawaz who held the IG post for eight months.

The PTI government later appointed Soaib Dastgir as Punjab IG in November 2019, who stayed in office till Sept 9, 2020. He was removed from the post reportedly for opposing the appointment of Umer Sheikh as Lahore police chief.

Inam Ghani then assumed the charge on Sept 9, 2020.

The last PML-N government had changed four IGs in Punjab during five years in power. They included Khan Baig, Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera, Mohammad Mushtaq and retired Captain Arif Nawaz.

Sardar Ali Khan, the new Punjab police chief, held a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, and LLM from the London School of Economics. Mr Khan has also served in Balochistan police as DIG (headquarters) and in Punjab police as additional IG (welfare and finance), CPO Faisalabad, DIG (operations) Lahore, RPO Sargodha and Bahawalpur, and DPO Khanewal. He also served in the Intelligence Bureau (IB) for five years.

He was awarded the President Police Medal (PPM) during his posting as Assistant Superintendent of Police. He was also nominated for the national civil award (Tamgha-i-Shujaat). He went on eight UN missions for eight months and also served in Australia for two years during his service.

Chief secretary

According to another notification, Kamran Ali Afzal, who was posted as secretary of industries and production division, was transferred and posted as Chief Secretary of Punjab. Mr Afzal belonged to the 21st Common of the District Management Group and also served as federal finance secretary.

PML-N leader retired Captain Muhammad Safdar, son-in-law of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, also belonged to the same common but later quit the bureaucracy.

Outgoing chief secretary Jawad Rafique Malik remained on the post for over one year and four months.

Earlier, Akbar Hussain Durrani was transferred from the office of chief secretary in October 2018. He was replaced by Yousuf Naseem Khokhar who was removed in November 2019. Then retired Maj Azam Suleman Khan was appointed chief secretary till April 2020. He was replaced by Jawad Rafique Malik.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar held a meeting with Sardar Ali Khan at his office. He directed the new IG to further improve law and order in Punjab and take action against criminal elements without any discrimination.

The chief minister said it was a responsibility of police to protect public and private property and address issues of the common people on a priority basis.

The IG said assured CM Buzdar that he would take measures to bring about betterment in the working of police and also ensure merit.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2021

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