Punjab finally relieves 10 officials under rotation policy

Published November 26, 2021
A group of police officers on a duty are seen in this file photo. — AFP/File
A group of police officers on a duty are seen in this file photo. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The Punjab government finally ‘succumbed to the pressure’ of the Establishment Division and relieved 10 officers of BS-20 belonging to the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) and Police Service of Pakistan of duties to report to other provinces here on Thursday.

It was said to be the first transfer order [issued by the ED] under the Rotation Policy 2020 which followed 100 per cent compliance.

In the past, the then governments of Pervez Musharaf and the PML-N in Punjab have been offering strong resistance to comply with the transfer orders of the establishment division.

They had been picking up the officers of choice to retain their postings in the province, creating a strong resentment among other officials who had declared the implementation of the policy a result of ‘pick and choose’ or ‘favouritism’.

Contrary to the previous steps, the recent transfer orders of the PAS/PSP officers were fully backed by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Many official correspondences were also reported between the federal and the provincial governments to get the transfer orders implemented.

It is evident from an official letter of the Establishment Division, Islamabad, wherein the Punjab government was asked to ensure implementation of the transfer orders in letter and spirit, giving a warning to the officers too that they would have to face wrath of the authorities concerned for not leaving the province.

“Any delay in the matter is likely to impact the officers adversely,” reads the ED’s last letter addressed to Punjab Chief Secretary Kamran Ali Afzal a couple of days back.

It also left a message for the Punjab government. “Any compromise on this issue will result in you and I compromising on and undermining the policy.”

Separately, Punjab had also been conveyed that the prime minister was fully on board on the transfers of the officers and no other alternative would be entertained at any cost.

(A copy of the official letter and the Punjab government’s relieving orders is available with Dawn). Out of the PSPs who were serving on important slots in Punjab, the transfer of additional IG Special Branch Punjab Zaeem Iqbal Sheikh and Headquarters DIG Mohammad Zubair Dreshak was being viewed as a major development.

An official privy to the information said the Punjab government’s decision to relieve the two officers kicked off a debate in police circles.

He said they were among others who had been enjoying important positions and were ‘least rotated’ during their service in Punjab.

Relieving Mr Sheikh and Mr Dreshak of their duties, the Punjab government directed them to report to Sindh as per the transfer orders issued by the ED.

Three DIG rank police officers were serving as regional police officers (RPOs) in Punjab and the government relieved them of their duties.

Similarly, Multan RPO Syed Khurram Ali and Sheikhupura RPO Dr Inam Waheed were directed to report to the Sindh government and Sahiwal RPO Ahmad Arslan to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Additional IG Traffic Police Punjab Sohail Akhtar Sukhera has also been relieved of his duties and directed to report to the Sindh government.

In the relieving orders of the PAS officers, Punjab Management and Special Development Department Secretary Ali Tahir has been directed to join his new assignment under the Balochistan government, Punjab Finance Secretary retired Flt- Lt Iftikhar Ali Sahoo to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Sargodha Commissioner Ms Farah Masood has been directed to join her new assignment as joint secretary of the climate change division.

DG Khan Commissioner Sarah Aslam has also been relieved of her duty and directed to join her new assignment under the Balochistan government.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2021

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