LAHORE: The federal government made the massive reshuffle in the top hierarchy of police in the twin cities - Islamabad and Rawalpindi – to build a new team for the newly-appointed Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ahsan Yunous.

Almost entire top police team of Rawalpindi that was transferred to the federal capital comprised a group of officers who had earlier served under the new IGP of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) when he was city police officer (CPO) there.

These officers include Rawalpindi operations SSP Rai Mazhar, Potohar SP Tassawar Iqbal, Rawal SP Zia Uddin Ahmad, Sadar SP Kamran Amir, Sadar circle Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Saud Khan and New Town ASP Benish Fatima.

The sudden transfer of such a large number of senior police officers from Rawalpindi to Islamabad has also perplexed new CPO Sajid Kiani as the district was among top crime zones in Punjab for high crime and law and order issues.

A senior officer privy to the development said all these transfers were made on the recommendations of the interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on the request of Islamabad inspector general of police (IGP) who sought officers of his own choice to re-build his team for the federal capital.

He said the new IGP Ahsan Yunous had specially requested to the interior ministry to provide him officers from Rawalpindi region as he had served there as CPO.

The official said the federal interior minister was also instrumental in the appointment of Ahsan Yunous, a BS-20 officer, as Islamabad IGP. He added that both came close when Mr Yunous was the CPO of Rawalpindi, the city from where Sheikh Rashid had been getting elected as an MNA.

However, he said, the development was seen by police circles as a “rare model of policing” for the twin cities. They also apprehended that such reshuffles would create an impression of ‘grouping’ in police hierarchy that was earlier witnessed in the department around a decade ago in Punjab.

The official said such en bloc transfers from one city to another could also demoralise police officers already serving in the federal capital.

Apart from Rawalpindi, the federal government also transferred police officers from various parts of Punjab and other provinces to Islamabad, including BS-20 officer DIG Jahanzeb Nazir Khan who was serving in Special Branch, Punjab. Mr Nazir has been put at the disposal of the Interior Division for his posting in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). His transfer was made under the Rotation Policy 2020 for a period of two years from the date of his joining at the station outside the geographical boundaries of the Punjab government.

Similarly, BS-19 officer Mohammad Faisal, Gujranwala investigation SSP Syed Ali and BS-18 officer SP Dr Fahad have also been transferred from Punjab and their services have been placed at the disposal of the ICT for further posting.

Another BS-20 officer, Awais Ahmad, has been transferred from Gilgit-Baltitistan and placed at the disposal of the ICT police.

The more interesting part of the development is that 12 police officers, including the two DIGs, four SSPs and six SPs, have also been transferred from Islamabad to other provinces.

The official said the police circles term it another unusual practice, saying the transfer of so many senior officers from a city at once was “not a good omen” for the department. He said a section of the police community believed that Islamabad IGP was not feeling comfortable with these officers, while others were of the view that the transferred officers were avoiding to work under the new commander.

Of them, DIG rank BS-20 officer Mohammad Saleem was transferred from Islamabad to the National Highways & Motorway Police and DIG Waqar ud Din Syed was transferred and put at the disposal of the Gilgit Baltistan government. The official said both the DIGs were senior to the newly-appointed Islamabad IGP, who is from 28th Common Training Programme (CTP).

He said Mr Saleem belonged to 26th common, while Waqar ud Din, who was also from 28th common, had ‘inter se seniority’. So, he said, both officers were unwilling to serve under the command of their junior colleague in Islamabad, adding that they might have requested for their transfer from the federal capital.

Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2021

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