ISLAMABAD: The office of the Islamabad police chief has been lying vacant for the past three days since the transfer of Akbar Nasir Khan who relinquished his charge last week without the nomination of an officer – by the outgoing IGP or the chief commissioner – to look after the top office till the arrival of the new inspector general police (IGP).

On Friday, the Establishment Division named DIG Syed Ali Nasir Rizvi, a grade 20 officer, for the coveted post and transferred Akbar Nasir with immediate effect. Subsequently, a ceremony was arranged for the outgoing police chief as well as the newly-appointed IGP at the Central Police Office, Islamabad, on Saturday afternoon. Akbar Nasir attended the ceremony while his proposed successor chose to skip it.

Due to a delay in the arrival of the new chief, the capital police are without its head. The outgoing IGP and the chief commissioner respectively did not nominate any officer as the acting police chief under the Police Rules until DIG Rizvi could resume the charge.

Though Dr Akbar Nasir was removed from the post on Friday, he still approved the five-day leave requested by at least three DIGs – DIG Security Owais Ahmed, DIG Headquarters Hassan Raza, and Safe City Authority Director General Mohammad Shoaib. The same DIGs also approached the chief commissioner for a 15-day leave on Monday.

Three DIGs approach commissioner’s office for 15-day leave

Five days is the maximum period of leave which can be approved by the IGP under the Police Rules. Sources said the three officers wanted to go on leave because they were senior to DIG Rizvi and they did not want to serve under the junior officer.

“The newly appointed police chief and the three DIGs are grade-20 officers (DIGs); however, DIG Raza and DIG Owais are from CTP-29 course, DIG Shoaib from CTP-30 course, and DIG Rizvi is from CTP-31,” sources said.

“The officers of the Police Services of Pakistan consider it disrespectful to salute their juniors,” the sources said, adding that the DIGs took the leave to skip the welcoming ceremony wherein they were bound to salute the newly appointed IGP without any regard for the seniority.

Insiders said the DIGs in the absence of the police chief approached the commissioner’s office on Monday to seek two-week leave. They said the aforementioned DIGs would attempt to transfer from the Islamabad police if DIG Rizvi assumed the charge. “In case their transfer request does not go through, they will appear before the new IGP without wearing their official caps as under a clause of the rules, an officer without a cap will not salute their seniors,” they added.

According to sources, DIG Raza had planned to go to the Pakistan Railway Police a few months ago that he could tend to his ill mother, but after she died the officer remained in the capital police.

Akbar Nasir Khan is also a grade-20 (DIG) officer, the officers said, adding that the post of the IGP Islamabad was upgraded to grade-21 officer a few years ago. For the past few years, the Islamabad IGP has been a grade-20 officer; though the post officially belongs to a grade-21 officer. Earlier, the prime minister used to nominate the Islamabad IGP, but since 2011, the interior minister has been doing the job.

On Friday, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi accompanied with DIG Syed Nasir Rizvi met the premier and later a notification of his appointment as the IGP was issued.

The officers said that DIG Rizvi was appointed on the recommendation of the interior minister and wanted to bring his team of officers to the capital police but the quarters concerned expressed displeasure over this move. At this, DIG Rizvi ‘convinced’ the high-ups in the Punjab police to retain him.

The police spokesperson confirmed that the newly appointed IGP had yet to assume the charge and that the three DIGs had approached the chief commissioner’s office for leave. The spokesperson also confirmed the post of the IGP was vacant and there was no stopgap arrangement in place. About other issues mentioned in this report, he did not comment or express ignorance.

During the tenure of the Safe City DG Shoaib, three cameras of the Safe City installed near the Margalla police station and a kilometre away from Korla police station were stolen in September 2023 and March 2024, respectively. Besides, transformers installed beside the safe city cameras and valuables from a car parked in front of the safe city cameras were also stolen.

During the tenure of Hassan Raza as the DIG Security, thieves stole communication cables of police offices in the Diplomatic Enclave in March 2023, the officers said, adding that the PTC cables were also stolen from the heavily guarded ‘Red Zone’ in March this year during the stint of Owais Ahmed as the DIG Security.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2024

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