Chasm between Centre, Punjab widens after CCPO-CM huddle

Published September 22, 2022
Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi embraces and pats Lahore CCPO Ghulam Mahmood Dogar on the back during a meeting with on Wednesday. — Screengrab via Moonis Elahi's Twitter
Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi embraces and pats Lahore CCPO Ghulam Mahmood Dogar on the back during a meeting with on Wednesday. — Screengrab via Moonis Elahi's Twitter

LAHORE: Differences further widened between the federal and Punjab governments on the transfer of Lahore Capital City Police Officer Ghulam Mahmood Dogar when he held a meeting with Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and refused to leave his office.

A video clip of the meeting between Mr Dogar and Parvez Elahi went viral on social media, stirring up a heated debate on the matter.

Chief Minister Parvez Elahi, speaking to police officers at the Civil Secretariat on Wednesday, asserted that no civil officer would be surrendered to the federal government without a formal permission from the Punjab government.

“The Punjab government can stop the officers constitutionally and lawfully,” he said a day after Dogar was directed to report to the Establishment Division with immediate effect.

Dogar refuses to relinquish charge; ED may proceed against him for defying order

Earlier, the chief minister applauded Mr Dogar for refusing to leave the charge.

“Well done, come and hug me,” the chief minister said and hugged him.

Reacting, PML-N senior leader Rana Mashhood said the CCPO had violated his oath as a federal civil servant by not following the ED notification.

VIDEO: The images of the hug created divisions in the police community, particularly among the officers belonging to the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP). Some of them supported the CCPO’s gesture while a majority of them declared it a ‘bad practice’ to be inclined towards a political party rather than following the orders of the Establishment Division [being a federal service officer].

However, both sides agreed that the transfer order of Mr Dogar was a political decision rather than an administrative but he was not the only officer in Punjab who faced this situation.

Earlier, the incumbent Punjab government had conveyed to several officers who were posted during the tenure of the PML-N in Punjab to leave the province or face the music.

The then CCPO Lahore Bilal Siddique Kamyana, DIG Operations retired Capt Sohail Chaudhry and the then additional IG Special Branch Punjab Usman Anwar were among the officials who were conveyed the ‘message’.

Many police officials showed apprehensions that the federal government may initiate disciplinary proceedings against BS 21 police officer Ghulam Mahmood Dogar for reportedly ‘defying the orders’.

The ED had recalled Mr Dogar on Wednesday while issuing a notification and directed him to report to the establishment division.

The action was initiated in response to the first information report registered against PML-N ministers Marriyum Aurangzeb and Javed Latif and two PTV employees under terrorism charges.

On the next day of transfer order, an official said, Mr Dogar discharged his duties as per routine, refusing to relinquish the charge.

Talking about the legal and administrative status of the transfer order of the CCPO, the official said PSP Composition and Cadre Rules 1985, read with Civil Servant Act 1973 and Conduct Rules 1964 stipulated that the federal government was the custodian of the civil services officers.

He said the government reserved the right to rotate, transfer, appoint and promote the officers and they were bound to follow the order in letter and spirit.

Accordingly, the provincial governments were not authorised to create hurdles in this respect, he said, adding that there were a lot of instances in the past when the ED initiated proceedings against the officers for not following its transfer orders during their posting in the provinces.

The official, however, also made it clear that after the 18th amendment the provinces had some implied powers to take some initiatives keeping in view the urgency of the service but ultimately the federal servant rules had significant importance.

CONFERENCE: At the police officers conference, the chief minister said the government was considering to set up a force consisting of retired army commandos for rural areas. This force would be granted a special salary package. He said he would materialise his long-delayed vision of establishing 150 police patrolling posts to check crime on highways.

The chief minister also floated an idea of enhancing residential facilities for officers in GOR-I.Punjab Home Minister Hashim Dogar said the proposal to give houses to police officers on soft conditions would be reviewed.

IGP, Additional IG South Punjab, former federal minister Moonis Elahi and chief secretary were among those who attended the meeting.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2022

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