LAHORE: The Punjab caretaker government on Saturday transferred Lahore DIG Operations Afzaal Kausar days after the police raid on the residence of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi that also spilt over into the adjoining house of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, causing an outcry from the key government ally.

The transfer order came days after interim chief minister of Punjab Mohsin Naqvi visited the PML-Q president’s residence and assured him that action would be taken against those responsible for misuse of authority during an ‘unreasonable police raid’ for the arrest of the former CM.

However, a police official told Dawn that DIG Kausar was made a scapegoat for the botched raid on Mr Elahi’s residence. He said that the incident had brought embarrassment even for the PML-N ruling in the Centre after some reports emerged that the armed police personnel forcibly entered the adjoining residence of Chaudhry Shujaat.

In order to pacify Shujaat Hussain, the federal government had also distanced itself from the operation.

Official says DIG Kausar ‘sacrificed’ to shield Model Town Division SP

‘Scapegoat’

Lahore Model Town Division SP Ammara Sherazi who was leading the police operation at that time initially came on the radar for mismanagement and excessive use of force during the raid, but she was ‘rescued’ by some senior police officers in Lahore and the Central Police Office, official sources said.

These officers urged the police chief to tip the scales in SP’s favour and the entire blame was shifted on DIG Afzaal Kausar, who was not on good terms with Lahore police chief Bilal Siddique Kamyana, the police official told Dawn.

He said the Lahore capital city police officer (CCPO) was already unhappy with the “poor command” of DIG Kausar during the ‘failed operations’ at Zaman Park to arrest PTI chief Imran Khan.

Similarly, the CCPO and Lahore Investigation DIG Sohail Akthar Sukhera, too, were not on good terms when the former questioned the latter for not achieving targets he had assigned him for the completion of the challan pertaining to the old criminal cases.

New Lahore Ops chief

The raid on Elahi’s residence provided the caretaker government with a much-needed chance to intervene and put the police department in order, starting with DIG Kausar’s, who has been replaced by DIG Ali Nasir Rizvi.

The Punjab police chief considered the names of DIG IT Ahsan Younis, DIG Zeshan Asghar, Gujranwala CPO Rana Ayaz Saleem and Mr Rizvi for the appointment. Mr Younis and Zeeshan Asghar categorically refused to serve in Lahore, landing Mr Rizvi in the position

Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2023

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