LAHORE: In what appeared to be a surprise move, the federal government has withdrawn the services of Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ghulam Mahmood Dogar and directed him to report to the Establishment Division for further order.

However, Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi has stopped the CCPO from relinquishing the charge, saying that the federal government can neither remove the CCPO nor transfer him.

The government withdrew his posting from Punjab a day after Lahore police booked two PML-N ministers, as well as two senior officials of state-run PTV on terrorism charges for allegedly “fanning religious hatred” against former premier Imran Khan and “endangering his life”.

The first information report was registered with Lahore Green Town police under Section 9 (punishment for acts intended or likely to stir up sectarian hatred) and Section 11X(3) (responsibility for creating civil commotion) of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 against Federal Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Federal Minister Mian Javed Latif, PTV Managing Director Sohail Khan and Controller Programmes Rashid Baig, on the complaint of a local prayer leader.

Case against two PML-N ministers being cited as reason for the move; CM refuses to relieve him

Punjab Home Minister retired Col Hashim Dogar in his tweet announced that the Punjab government would not relieve the CCPO.

“Additional IG police Ghulam Mahmood Dogar will continue to serve as CCPO Lahore and will not report to the Establishment Division,” reads the tweet.

An official privy to the information said the CCPO had issued the order to lodge FIR against PML-N ministers even after the IG opposed the step.

He said as the matter of FIR against the federal ministers surfaced, the top leadership of the PML-N showed strong resentment.

The PML-N senior leadership was told that the CCPO was ‘instrumental’ in registration of terrorism case against the two federal ministers.

Following the initial probe, the official said, the secretary establishment was conveyed from the Prime Minister Secretariat to immediately withdraw the services of Mr Dogar.

A notification issued by the ED Islamabad on Tuesday reads, “Mr Ghulam Mahmood Dogar, BS-21 police officer, presently serving under the Punjab government is transferred and directed to report to the Establishment Division with immediate effect and until further orders.”

The official source said being a federal service employee, the police official would have to follow the orders of the ED Islamabad within seven days of issuance of transfer orders.

There were also reports that the federal government has categorically conveyed to the secretary establishment to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Dogar for not reporting [to the ED] within the period prescribed in the rules.

The official said the PML-N was already unhappy at the ‘controversial role’ of Mr Dogar as CCPO when he took action against many police officials including the DSPs and SHOs of the city in the wake of the May 25 Azadi March of the PTI.

He said the PML-N leadership was informed that Mr Dogar issued an order to initiate criminal and departmental proceedings against the police officials on the directions of the Punjab government.

Following the order, he had first removed nearly 24 SHOs of the city from their post and then appointed the Lahore SSP Investigation to initiate proceedings against them.

The SSP, however, refused to take up the assignment as most of the senior police officers had opposed the decision of Mr Dogar, the official said.

He added that the CCPO then deputed DIG Security Lahore to hold an inquiry against them and the process was yet pending.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2022

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