Inside the capital’s police shakeup

Published: January 22, 2018
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The reshuffle in the capital police is complete. Almost the entire top brass have been replaced while a host of middle-ranking officers have been reshuffled within the department with talk that more transfers are likely over the coming days.

But questions remain on why the top cop and some of the most influential officers in Islamabad Police were changed within weeks of each other.

SSP Sajid Kiani and SSP Captain (retired) Ilyas Malik had served lengthy tenures in the capital and had often outlasted some of their superiors. They were thus thought to be among the most powerful officers in the force.

Some say that the shake had been coming ever since Ahsan Iqbal took over the reins as the new interior minister in August, replacing Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan. They believe that Iqbal and Islamabad Inspector General of Police Sultan Azam Temuri — who had been brought in from Gujranwala to replace former IG Khalid Khattak, are believed to have planned to revamp and reform the capital’s police department.

Others, though, believe that these officers and former IGP Khattak were removed for embarrassing the government in the botched Faizabad operation on November 25, 2017. Otherwise, they say, these officers appeared to have performed well.

Ever since his appointment as capital’s police chief last month, IG Temuri had been promising to breathe new life into the force and convert it into a service-oriented department.

“Of course, the reforms he promised cannot be implemented with the same old team. Changes had to be made,” said an official privy to the developments.

From the day he took charge, Temuri had not wasted any opportunity to propound his agenda of change.

Apart from the three high-profile transfers, almost the entire set-up of operations division has been shaken up, with zonal SPs reshuffled within the department.

SP (investigation) Syed Zeeshan Haider has been reassigned to the security division and given the charge of SP (Supreme Court). Ahmad Iqbal, who had been operating as SP (Supreme Court), was tasked with ensuring security in the city with the charge of SP City Zone.

Zubair Ahmed Sheikh was installed as the new SP investigation.

Syed Mustafa Tanveer who had been tasked with security in the Rural Zone for years was handed command of the newly-established counter-terrorism force. Tanveer was replaced by Hassam Bin Iqbal.

Similarly, Muhammad Bin Ashraf was moved from the logistics division to operations wing.

A source said that there was a possibility that some other PSP officers may be transferred out from the capital police to clear the way for promoting some DSPs in the force who had been long overdue a promotion. Currently, the Islamabad Police are allowed to appoint 18 SPs.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 22nd, 2018.

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