Yet another Punjab IGP removed, Lahore CCPO is here to stay!

By: News Desk      Published: 03:01 PM, 8 Sep, 2020
Yet another Punjab IGP removed, Lahore CCPO is here to stay!

The controversy generated by the posting of Umer Sheikh as the Lahore CCPO (Capital City Police Officer) ended with the removal of Punjab IGP Capt (retd) Shoaib Dastgir as the PTI government decided to get rid of fifth provincial police chief since assuming power in 2018, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Tuesday.

Quoting sources, it is said that the decision has been taken after the Punjab government was in constant touch with the Prime Minister’s House. In the end, Prime Minister Imran Khan decided that they would not backtrack on the issue and approved the move.    

Hence, Dastgir is no more here to command the Punjab Police but Sheikh will continue leading the force in Lahore.

It is also said the former IGP himself stated that he could not continue serving in his present capacity as the government wasn’t ready to withdraw the decision about the Lahore CCPO.

Moreover, it is being reported that Punjab will place his services at the disposal of Centre. The necessary notification in this regard is expected to be issued in the coming hours.

The sources, meanwhile, say three names have been forwarded to the prime minister after he directed the Establishment Division to provide a list for appointing the new provincial police chief.

The summary contains the names of Motorways Police IG Kaleem Imam, Additional IG (South) Inam Ghani and Islamabad IGP Aamir Zulfiqar.

Moreover, the sources say that the prime minister has tasked his special assistant Shahzad Akbar with helping in choosing with a suitable person for the job.

Earlier, the issue continued getting murkier as both the Centre and provincial government refused to change the decision despite the fact that the Punjab IGP wasn’t unhappy with the posting.

In this connection, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar told reporters in Lahore earlier in the day that the issue would be resolved by Tuesday evening and confirmed his meeting with the IGP. “I recommend everyone. I do not have any favourites,” he added.

When asked that the IGP is not coming to his office, the chief minister replied that the things were moving as normal. He had not seen any statement by the IGP or the CCPO, Buzdar remarked.

On the other hand, the controversial Lahore CCPO said he was apologising to the IGP if his feelings had been hurt and would serve his command. 

Meanwhile, the senior police officers decided to express solidarity with their chief amid the tense situation.

This grouping within the ranks of Punjab Police came as Dastgir did not come to his office even on Tuesday. That’s why all the RPOs (regional police officers) and CPOs (city police officers) started arriving at the Central Police Office in Lahore to formulate their future course of action.

Earlier on Monday, 24NewsHD reported that Dastgir had stopped coming to his office after the posting of Umar Sheikh as the Lahore CCPO in yet another twist amid the uncertainty prevailing among the ranks of bureaucracy since the PTI assumed power.

He also raised the issue directly with the Prime Minister’s House as he is unhappy with the posting of Umar Sheikh.

It is said that Dastgir had resisted the transfer of Zulfiqar Hameed who, according to him, is a competent officer.

In this connection, the provincial police chief also met Buzdar at his office on Monday without any prior schedule and expressed his reservations over the issue. However, Buzdar directed Dastgir to continue discharging his duties.

As a natural consequence, the senior officers serving at the Central Police Office were confused who said that the IGP had made a decision about his future. Everyone would know the decision in the coming days, they added.

Punjab experienced the latest round of changes in bureaucracy and police as Imran visited Lahore last week, strengthening the impression that the province is being controlled directly by the Centre.

That’s why PML-N Punjab President Rana Sanaullah had alleged that the new Lahore CCPO had been posted with a specific mission of targeting the main opposition party.

Dastgir was fifth the Punjab IGP since the PTI formed government in the province in 2018. He had replaced Capt (retd) Arif Nawaz Khan on November 26, 2019.