LAHORE: The regime change in Punjab hardly augurs well for senior police officers as is evident from ‘displacement’ of four key figures including the Lahore capital city police officer (CCPO).

Hours before the new chief minister took oath, three police officers were transferred and repatriated to the federal government while another was removed from his post and made an officer on special duty (OSD). As they were not “in the good books” of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), they were transferred on their request to avoid victimisation.

BS-20 police officers Bilal Siddique Kamyana and Rana Abdul Jabbar and BS-19 officer Sardar Ghias Gull Khan seemed to be on the ‘hit list’ of PTI chief Imran Khan and other leaders. Kamyana was serving as CCPO Lahore, Jabbar as DG Anti-Corruption Punjab and Ghias Gull as DPO Jhang. The other police officer, Sajid Khokhar, was posted DPO Mandi Bahauddin, the district where most of the police officers were appointed on the recommendations of Parvez Elahi.

Late on Tuesday, they were not only transferred but also relieved of their respective duties from Punjab in the wake of strong confrontation between the PTI and the PML-N.

Three more to get new assignments

According to the notification, the federal government immediately posted and put services of Kamyana and Jabbar at the strength of Intelligence Bureau (IB) to assume new assignments while Gull was directed to report to the Establishment Division for further order.

A source said the PTI considered these four police officers close to the PML-N. He said Kamyana and former IGP Rao Sardar Ali Khan were scorned in various speeches by PTI chief Imran Khan. During the recent by-polls in Punjab, Imran Khan had warned them of action for “siding with the PML-N to victimise the PTI’s candidates, supporters and voters.”

Rao Sardar had already requested the federal government to transfer him to any suitable place. He was transferred and posted as IG Railways. Similarly, Kamyana and Gull followed the same course and the federal government issued their transfer orders from Punjab to the Centre.

The source said Gull bore the brunt of political victimisation when he was posted as DPO Jhang during the tenure of PTI government in 2020. He said a PTI MNA, who was federal minister at that time from Jhang, and a lady MPA “targeted” him for not obeying their orders.

A woman was allegedly murdered in the district and Gull as DPO had ordered police to ensure her postmortem but the PTI leaders had asked him to stop the proceeding. He said the DPO, however, turned down what he considered the illegal demand of the PTI leaders, which irked them. The then federal minister later moved a privilege motion against Gull in the National Assembly and managed to initiate proceedings against him.

Gull moved the high court against the proceeding of the NA and got a stay order, the official said, adding that he was later removed from his post.

To avoid victimisation from the PTI government, he submitted a request to the Establishment Division to allow him to proceed abroad (UK) on scholarship. Despite PTI leaders’ efforts to stop the process on his application, he managed to get ex-Pakistan leave. As he came back from the UK in September last year, the PTI leaders again used their influence and made him OSD.

When the PML-N formed government in the Centre and Punjab, it again posted him as DPO Jhang, the source said, adding that meanwhile a photo went viral showing then home minister Atta Tarrar sitting on the seat of the DPO while presiding over a meeting. The meeting was called in the wake of security measures taken for the by-elections and the PTI again criticised Gull, alleging that he was planning rigging in favour of the PML-N candidate in Jhang.

As for Mandi Bahauddin DPO Sajid Khokhar, the official said, he was removed from the post as the local PTI leaders turned against him for being appointed by the PML-N and wanted the new DPO of choice.

There are reports that two more police officers -- former DPO Sialkot and DIG Operations Lahore -- also are vulnerable due to regime change.

Published in Dawn, July 28th, 2022

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