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Transfers to Balochistan stir police ranks

October 20, 2011

ISLAMABAD, Oct 20: The federal government has suddenly transferred 25 police officers serving in three provinces and Islamabad to Balochistan, sources close to the Establishment Division told on Thursday.

The move, affecting the grade 18 and 19 officers, caused a stir in the Police Services of Pakistan (PSP) as the bureaucracy considers Balochistan a 'hard posting'.

That may be the reason that most of them have been offered incentives with their transfer to restive Balochistan, according to the sources. Police presence in the province is negligible and those serving in the Balochistan Police remain in their offices and powerless, the sources said.

Regional Police Officer Rawalpindi Capt (retired) Mohammad Zubair's transfer is most notable. He is being sent as Inspector General of Police Balochistan. His present rank was DIG in grade 21. Politics is also suspected in his transfer as Capt (retired) Zubair has the reputation of being close to PML-N, especially to Chaudhry Nisar Khan, the party's front rank leader.

Some circles linked his transfer to Balochistan with the Anti-Corruption Establishment's request to him to provide it police force to take action against the powerful land developer Bahria Town and its management for alleged fraud. Other police officers transferred from Punjab are District Police Officer Toba Tek Singh Senior Superintendent of Police Zakir Ahsan Younus, Deputy Commandant Police College Sihala SSP Ghulam Rasool Zahid, SSP Farooq Mazhar, and SSP Azeem Arshad.

Police sources said that SSP Ghulam Rasool Zahid, SSP Farooq Mazhar and SSP Azeem Arshad of Punjab police and SSP Ahsan Sadiq of Islamabad police, now on transfer, were promoted last month to the rank of DIG but the notification in this regard was yet to be issued.SSP Ahsan Sadiq was however designated as DIG Security by the capital police high-ups. The sources blamed his transfer on his “differences with some seniors in the past”.

Grade 18 SP Nadeem Hassan, who had been sent back by the capital police to the establishment division after PML-N MNA Anjum Aqeel escaped from the custody of Islamabad police, has also been transferred to Balochistan. He was grounded when the interior minister ordered to register a case against the police officers considered responsible for the escape.

Several police officers were sidelined in response to his order but all were reinstated except SP Nadeem Hassan.

Police officers of SSP rank serving in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and transferred to Balochistan include, Capt (retired) Feroz Shah, Flight Lt (retired) Imtiaz Shah and Sadiq Kamal Khan Orakzai. Others on transfer from the province are SP Mohammad Ijaz Khan and Capt (retired) Tahir Ayoub Khan.

PSP officers serving in Sindh and transferred to Balochistan are: SSP Shahzad Aslam Siddiqui, SSP Abdul Qadir Qayyum, SSP Ashar Hamid and SSP Sultan Ahmad Chaudhry, SP Amir Ahmad Shaikh, SP Zulfiqar Ali, SP Pervez Khan Umrani, SP Syed Pir Mohammad Shah and SP Saqib Sultan Al-Mehmood. Punjab Police's SPs Sultan Ali Khan, Mehboob Rasheed, Ovais Ahmad and Mohammad Atif have also been transferred to Balochistan.

Inamullah Khattak adds from Rawalpindi:

There has been a general belief in police department as well as in political circles that the transfers of the two Pindi police officers – RPO Muhammad Zubair and DCO Saqib Zafar – are the result of the ongoing tussle between PML-N stalwart and Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and a powerful property tycoon.

The transfers have been made at a time when the Rawalpindi administration was all set to raid the alleged culprits involved in bogus transfer of land measuring 1,401 kanals in Rawalpindi.

The two police officers are the victims of political fight between the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the opposition PML-N, said an official of the district administration.

He was of the view that the DCO and the RPO of Rawalpindi had been transferred by the federal government apparently to stop the provincial administration from taking any action against the management of the leading housing society in the light of an FIR involving fraudulent land deal.

There has also been a fear amongst the officials of the district administration that this move could cause a legal tussle between the federal and the Punjab governments. The two transferred officials, they said, were employees of the federal government, but they could not assume their new charges without getting relieving orders from the provincial authorities.

The transfer orders of the two officers were received simultaneously by their respective offices through a fax on Thursday while the DCO was in Murree to receive Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.