Reaction to PTI’s allegations: IGP transferred on his own request just before CM’s re-election

Published July 23, 2022
A file photo of former Punjab inspector general of police Rao Sardar Ali Khan. — Photo courtesy Punjab Police website
A file photo of former Punjab inspector general of police Rao Sardar Ali Khan. — Photo courtesy Punjab Police website

LAHORE: A few hours before the much-hyped re-election of the Punjab chief minister, the federal government transferred the provincial police chief Rao Sardar Ali Khan and appointed Faisal Shahkar (BPS-22) as the new inspector general of police (IGP).

The government changed the Punjab police commander after Mr Khan requested it to transfer him to any suitable place as he was not willing to serve anymore in the province under the present circumstances. He was serving as the managing director of the Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) when he was posted as the IGP last September by the then PTI government.

A senior official told Dawn Rao Sardar Ali Khan was the most favourite police officer of Imran Khan who, as the prime minister, had shortlisted him from amongst four other senior police officers in the race to command the Punjab Police. He said Rao Sardar had replaced Inam Ghani who was removed from the post when the then Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar complained to his PM that Mr Ghani had bypassed him and was in close contact with Azam Khan, the then secretary to the PM.

The official said Mr Khan’s transfer was being associated with the recent campaign launched by the PTI leadership, which ‘targeted’ him and Punjab Chief Secretary Kamran Ali Afzal.

The PTI leaders had warned the officers that they would initiate legal and departmental actions against them on coming to power again.

On some occasions, Imran Khan had ‘called’ names of both the top government officers of Punjab in his public meetings and announced making them an example, accusing them of taking side of the ruling PML-N.

He said Rao Sardar felt insulted when former federal minister Shahbaz Gill on Friday passed humiliating remarks against him before commencement of much-anticipated session of the Punjab Assembly to elect the chief minister.

Rao Sardar Ali Khan wanted his ‘respectful exit’ and on Friday he deemed it right to quit the slot instead of bringing more embarrassment for the PML-N ruling in Punjab and centre.

According to some media reports, Rao Sardar Ali Khan and Kamran Ali Afzal had requested the government to transfer them out of Punjab a few days back, fearing punitive action after the change of government in the province in the wake of the re-election of the CM.

Respecting Mr Khan’s request sent through the Punjab government, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif transferred and posted him as new IG Pakistan Railways Police vice Faisal Shahkar.

“With the approval of the Federal Government, Mr Rao Sardar Ali Khan, a BS-22 police officer, presently posted as Provincial Police Officer of the Punjab government, is hereby transferred and posted as Inspector General of Pakistan Railways Police with immediate effect and until further order,” reads a notification issued by the Establishment Division, Islamabad.

In another separate notification, the division has appointed Faisal Shahkar as the new IGP Punjab.

About the newly appointed IGP, the senior official said, Faisal Shahkar belongs to 16th Common and has previously served on various important field positions in Punjab. He has worked as additional IG special branch Punjab for three years and remained posted as the regional police officer of Sahiwal and Gujranwala besides rendering services in other districts of the province.

Mr Shahkar has also performed duties in other countries like Bosnia and Liberia under the UN missions.

Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2022

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