LAHORE: Controversy surrounding the former police chief of Lahore Ghulam Mahmood Dogar was amplified after an audio clip featuring a conversation between Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) leader Dr Yasmin Rashid and the police officer surfaced on Saturday.

In the leaked audio, the PTI leader is speaking to the police officer asking if he had received the posting orders after he was reinstated as the Lahore CCPO by a Supreme Court bench on Friday. As per the audio clip, the police officer replied that no orders had reached him.

The former Punjab health minister, without naming anyone, stated that she had made the phone call to find out what “their intentions are”. Making an apparent reference to PTI chief Imran Khan, she conveyed that he was “concerned” about the issues surrounding the reinstatement of the former Lahore police chief.

Mr Dogar replied that the files would be signed after the court time and his people were sitting there to receive the orders. She said that she had told Imran Khan that Mr Dogar had yet to receive the orders.

Yasmin vows to move court against audio leak, defamation tactics

In the conversation, Dr Rashid asked the police officer if “their night would be passed quietly”. As Mr Dogar hesitated for a moment, the PTI leader quickly quipped that she had posed a “difficult question right at the outset”.

The police officer responded that hopefully, everything would be fine.

It may be noted here that the audio clip comes on the heels of a Supreme Court order which suspended the notification issued by the Punjab caretaker government pertaining to the transfer of CCPO Dogar. This is the latest addition in the series of audio leaks surrounding Mr Dogar, as only a couple of days former chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi’s conversation with his lawyer about Mr Dogar’s case was leaked on social media.

In light of these leaked clips, PTI Chairman Imran Khan condemned the phone tapping and lamented that his conversation on the secured line of the Prime Minister’s Office was also recorded and released on social media.

Vows to move court

Meanwhile, Dr Yasmin Rashid spoke to media persons outside Zaman Park and acknowledged that she did speak to Mr Dogar since he was the CCPO Lahore and the PTI government had appointed him as convenor of the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate the assassination attempt on former premier Imran Khan in Wazirabad.

She said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government and its caretaker government had removed Mr Dogar and allegedly sabotaged the investigations and even removed all the relevant records from the JIT office.

“I myself am pursuing the assassination attempt case in the anti-terrorism court in Gujranwala, which had called for the JIT’s investigation record but was not provided,” she said and added that eventually, the court sent its two prosecutors to find only a few pages.

Asserting that the JIT formed by the elected Punjab government and cabinet is “intact”, Yasmin Rashid said the federal government “illegally constituted a JIT” and she had challenged the formation of the alternate JIT in the Lahore High Court.

She lambasted the government over the release of her audio clip and asked if she was conspiring against the country. She added that the “corrupt and incapable rulers” were not able to control the terrorists striking across the country. “I strongly condemn the leaking of this audio as such tactics defame the country in the world,” she said and added that she would take this leak to the court.

In response to a question about her conversation with Mr Dogar, she said, “I will talk to any officer I like, as it is my fundamental right being the citizen of this country,” she asserted.

Stating that this government wanted to arrest Imran Khan, Dr Rashid said all PTI leadership and workers were ready for a ‘court arrest drive’ as they were “not afraid of victimisation tactics of the incumbent government”.

She claimed that PDM parties were running away from general elections. She said the Constitution required elections within 90 days after the dissolution of an assembly and added, “Whatever delay they make, eventually the incumbent rulers would be compelled to hold general elections.”

Published in Dawn, February 19th, 2023

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