IGP’s recommended panel for key posts LAHORE: Unlike the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government which has introduced reforms by giving autonomy to the inspector general of police in transfer and posting of senior officials, the Punjab government continues to handle it ‘politically and on a pick and choose basis’.
In a fresh such instance, the government has dropped names of some senior and experienced police officers from a list forwarded by Punjab police chief Mushtaq Ahmad Sukhera to fill five key slots across the province.The IGP had recommended some 15 police officers to Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for interview, an official privy to the development told Dawn.
He said the positions included city police officer of Multan and district police officers of Vehari, Toba Tek Singh, Jhelum and Bahawalpur.
The official said the interviews were scheduled to be held on Saturday (today). Earlier, he said, Friday was fixed for the purpose but the CM was not available due to his official engagements.
Apart from dropping some names recommended by the IGP, the government has included the names of six police officers in the interview list.
Some of those included in the list are too junior and preferred over senior and most experienced colleagues having a sound profile with outstanding performance, the official said.
Those dropped from the IGP’s recommendations included SP Ammara Athar, Abdul Ghaffar Kaisrani, Khalid Bashir and Ghazi Salahuddin, he said.
The official said except Ammara Athar, the other three had already served as DPOs in Punjab.
Mrs Ammara Athar has also impressed the police high command with her handling of several high-profile investigation cases in Lahore.
“A clear and sound message has been given to the Punjab IGP that his opinion as head of the largest province’s police department has no value and no reforms are expected in future in the police system,” the official said.
But Law Minister Rana Sanaullah does not think so. He says the Punjab IGP enjoys the same autonomy as has been given to his counterpart in KP. Dispelling an impression that the IGP is not being given preference in transfer and posting, he says most the transfers and postings are made on the basis of the panel suggested by the head of the police department.
“The IGP’s input and opinion in the posting of suitable police officers plays a significant role in maintaining law and order in the province. The police chief better knows the potential of a field police officer for the position and the district he is being recommended for,” the official said.
For example, the official said, Bahawalpur was notorious for sectarian-related issues and needed an inexperienced police officer as DPO, specially during Muharram.
The officers accommodated in the list by the government included Arif Shahbaz, Ghias Gull, Imran Yaqoob, Hassan Alvi, Ashfaq Khan and Abdul Qadir Qamar.
He said other police officers recommended by the IGP included Umar Saeed, Athar Akram, Mushtaq Bhutta, Ehsan Younis, Usman Akram Gondal, Mubashar Mechon, Chaudhry Salim, and Sikandr Hayat. Among them, Chaudhry Salim, Ehsan Younis, Mushtaq Bhutta and Athar Khuram were the senior most officers.
He said Chaudhry Salim who was likely to be promoted to the rank of DIG in coming weeks appeared to be a strong candidate for the Multan CPO slot.
The official said that Umar Saeed was recommended on the basis of his outstanding performance as the Lahore headquarters SP while Mubashar Mechon was preferred for serving two districts as DPO.
Similarly, he said, Usman Akram Gondal’s performance as Muzafargarh DPO was acknowledge by top police hierarchy.