Internal spying?: PML-N tasks police’s special branch with political survey

Published: March 22, 2012

The Special Branch is basically the intelligence arm of the Punjab police. It is tasked with gathering information on anti-state and sectarian activities in the province, as well as keeping an eye on the movement of foreigners in the province.

LAHORE: 

For all the public rhetoric opposing the use of the security apparatus in politics, behind the scenes political parties continue to do exactly that.

In the most recent case, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in Punjab has tasked the Special Branch of Punjab police to conduct a political survey of the party’s standing at the local level in all constituencies in the province, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The exercise is effectively an internal audit of the party, and a way to gauge the performance and popularity of its own legislators.

Ironically, the move comes just days after provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said that the political cells of the Special Branch (SB) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) should be closed down just like the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had closed its political cell.

The Special Branch is basically the intelligence arm of the Punjab police. It is tasked with gathering information on anti-state and sectarian activities in the province, as well as keeping an eye on the movement of foreigners in the province. It prepares a ‘daily situation report’ (DSR) on security threats to the province at the smallest levels – a report which is compiled and used as a crucial source of information by law-enforcers.

However, with general elections in the air, the Punjab government has other ideas.

According to sources, the provincial headquarters of the Special Branch, at the behest of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, will now compile comprehensive constituency-wise details of members of the national and provincial assemblies belonging to the PML-N.

The effort is a part of the Punjab government’s bid to understand its current position in the province as well as the reputation and popularity of PML-N lawmakers amongst the general public across the Province, The Express Tribune has learnt.

Field offices of the Special Branch have been provided with a one-page form issued by the headquarters. The field officers are to compile all details, including general reputation, popularity and current position of members of national and provincial assemblies (MNAs and MPAs), public integration and even the ratio of increase or decrease of popularity in the constituency of the respective legislator.

In addition, it is interesting that particulars of ‘substitute candidates’, for cases where the position of current legislators of PML-N is considered to be weak, have also been sought. Substitute candidates are being identified to ascertain which contenders would be best placed to defeat particular political opponents that pose the biggest threat to the party in the upcoming elections.

When contacted on the matter, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told The Express Tribune that no such exercise had been launched using the Special Branch. He said that the party itself had has a better understanding of the reputation and popularity of their legislators as well as the ground realities of the constituencies across the province – and hence did not need the Special Branch’s input.

He said that the party’s information would be more credible than that of the Special Branch.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (36)

  • Mar 22, 2012 - 6:49AM

    PTI is the only solution. Long live PTI
    IK will change the Pakistan. InshaAllah

    Recommend

  • Mar 22, 2012 - 6:53AM

    Thanks for exposing these PML-N thieves.

    Recommend

  • Salman Zafar
    Mar 22, 2012 - 7:01AM

    That’s so typical of PMLN…..
    Using state’s resources for personal objectives….

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  • Falcon
    Mar 22, 2012 - 7:32AM

    Oh…this must be PTI’s fault too…poor PMLN being forced to use public resources to engage in spying against political opponents

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  • Asad
    Mar 22, 2012 - 8:10AM

    Hope they don’t start with the leaders of PML-N

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  • usman
    Mar 22, 2012 - 8:26AM

    PML-N, don’t do that. It may result in further demoralization for the party since the survey reports are written on the wall in favor of PTI.

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  • KH
    Mar 22, 2012 - 9:21AM

    Where are the PMLN supporters no comments…….:)

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  • Ali
    Mar 22, 2012 - 9:52AM

    Shame , shame, shame. shame on you PMLN.

    Recommend

  • Abdul Maalik
    Mar 22, 2012 - 9:58AM

    This is the hyprocracy of highest class on part of Noon League.On one side, it is crying all the time that ISI was supporting PTI and on the other hand, it is using the intelligence agency of Punajb to win bye-election and the next general election for them.This is the reason why Noon League didn’t resign from Punjab assemby even after the vociferous appeals of Javed Hashmi and Saad Rafique at the end of last year.Had they left Punjab Govt, they would not have been able to terrorise their policial opponents in Punjab.Even now, they would resign only from National Assembly after the budget 2012 but not from the Punjab assembly till the last day.

    Recommend

  • Zulfiqar Khan
    Mar 22, 2012 - 10:25AM

    Such tricks will not work any more.PML(N) will lose elections. At Yazman Mandi (Bhawalpur), PML(N) could not win their own seat vacated by the death Khalid Jajja and PML(Q) defeated by more than 5,000 votes. GEO PTI! GEO IMRAN KHAN!

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  • Fiaz
    Mar 22, 2012 - 10:36AM

    In Past, ISI funded Them, and now they are rich enough to fund police or other bureaucratic elements to manipulate elections.
    PMLN is using the same tactics but replacing army by police. Now they will use political wing of Police department for rigging. Yeah,it seems, they do have ideas,

    Recommend

  • tfsindhu
    Mar 22, 2012 - 10:55AM

    Just imagine, what PML (N) will do, if come in power in federal govt also.
    PPP is also no good but these criminals will be worst.
    My personal support of MQM and PTI. (The only hope for pakistan)

    Recommend

  • All BS
    Mar 22, 2012 - 11:00AM

    Would love to see the scorecard of the Special branch on standing of PMLN….:)

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  • popsaeed
    Mar 22, 2012 - 11:09AM

    Not a bad idea because PML-N will do more works in order to gain its popularity more briges more road works more building of infrastructure more chances for labour more money circulation so be positive.

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  • IFTIKHAR-UR-REHMAN
    Mar 22, 2012 - 11:36AM

    PML(N) is using resources of the Government ! WHY? NAWAZ SHARIF is supposed to be a very HONEST PERSON!! IS HE????*

    Recommend

  • Abdul Qayyum Bhatti
    Mar 22, 2012 - 11:43AM

    PML(N) has been using political wing of ISI for its political gians and now blaming the ISI for interfering into political affairs. Now they are using Punjab Police Special Branch for same purpose. It is double standards.

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  • Nadeem
    Mar 22, 2012 - 12:20PM

    Typical of PML-N.

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  • Nadeem
    Mar 22, 2012 - 12:21PM

    They say that ISI involvement in the politics should be stopped. But here is a thought for PML-N, start it from you.

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  • Blithe
    Mar 22, 2012 - 12:37PM

    I would go with the denial of Rana.

    In any case, surveys show that PML N is
    the most popular party in the country.

    Recommend

  • popsaeed
    Mar 22, 2012 - 12:39PM

    @Salman Zafar:
    @Truth Exposed:

    What about lahore JALSA supported by ?????

    Recommend

  • KH
    Mar 22, 2012 - 12:46PM

    Still no comments from PML N supporters…..

    Recommend

  • Blues
    Mar 22, 2012 - 12:50PM

    Here’s the report -
    You’re widely unpopular Noon League!

    Recommend

  • PhD_Norway
    Mar 22, 2012 - 1:00PM

    PML-N can not play with neutral umpires

    Recommend

  • PTI VOTER
    Mar 22, 2012 - 1:17PM

    @Blithe:
    But every new report shows that PMLN’s popularity has decreased since the last report and PTI’s popularity has increased since the last reportRecommend

  • Ghalib
    Mar 22, 2012 - 1:47PM

    @popsaeed:
    PTI Jalsa was supported by haters of PMLN and PPP coz they are just looting us. next election will show them mirror how ugly they are.

    Recommend

  • Salman Orangiwala
    Mar 22, 2012 - 2:16PM

    ISI is promoting PTI . So whats wrong if the Not so Sharif Brothers are taking the services of the Punjab Police ?

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  • Mar 22, 2012 - 2:17PM

    Typical status quo technique. This is not new these criminals always use state resources for their vested interests. Now only option to support PTI to get rid of these mafias.

    Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    Mar 22, 2012 - 3:19PM

    This happening to the party members?! Imagine what kind of ‘police state’ Pakistan would become if they ever again make it to power in this country. It’s scary. Guess what they can might do to those who do not support them. Man, a dictator can’t do any worse than this. PML-Nawaz and his ‘Politburo’ must be kept far away from coming into power, voters be aware of spooks sniffing around you and your normal life as citizens.

    Recommend

  • PARDESI
    Mar 22, 2012 - 3:38PM

    Its difficult to trust the political parties especially PMLN. They want to respect supreme court only if its working in their favour but will attack the court and beat up the judges if it goes against the party wishes. They don’t want any political party to receive illegal money from any agency but they will be at the front of the que when the money is dolled out. They want every ones overseas account frozen and seized but themselves want to invest in UK or build houses in Saudi Arabia. What do these guys stand for.

    Recommend

  • waqas
    Mar 22, 2012 - 4:18PM

    lol imran phobia to PML N :P the first benefit to people of punjab specially due to PTI is tha shahbaz shareef is trying hard to restore credibility of PMLN by doing WORKS :))) there is alot to to come though and that a lot will be brought by IMRAN dosto :)

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  • Kashmirian
    Mar 22, 2012 - 6:56PM

    PML-N is the best political party after PTI in this country.

    Recommend

  • Sidra
    Mar 22, 2012 - 7:59PM

    It is hilarious that PML-N on one hand crying for political role of agencies while covertly using them to garner their votes. How double faces these double brothers have. This is the real face of PML-N, where is rant of Chaudhry Nisar now, where the politics of morality by Mian Sahib has died now, Why Khadm-e-Aala is mum on this issue. PML-N is a group of political chameleon, never ever trustable. PML-N on one hand enjoying perks and privileges by occupying the top seats in Punjab while bashing Government on national level, if they were sincere to this nation, why they did not quit Punjab Assembly But problem is that Had they left Punjab Govt, they would not have been able to terrorize their political opponents in Punjab. Even now, they would resign only from National Assembly after the budget 2012 but not from the Punjab assembly till the last day.

    Recommend

  • wsd
    Mar 22, 2012 - 8:56PM

    exposed again…………They still want a third term as PM and a 6th term as rulers of Punjab.!!!!!!Recommend

  • WB
    Mar 23, 2012 - 12:00AM

    In the past these PMLN crooks used ISI; and now they’re using the police intelligence. They should be ashamed, this is the true face of Nawaz

    Recommend

  • Arsalan Ghumman
    Mar 23, 2012 - 2:43AM

    Shameful. They will never learn.

    Recommend

  • Mar 23, 2012 - 12:52PM

    @Salman Orangiwala:
    You sound so FUNNY. and the best part; “You know it“. :)

    Recommend

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