Interim K-P govt orders major reshuffle after Peshawar attack

Published: July 12, 2018
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A party worker comforts another after the attack that killed at least 20 people. PHOTO: REUTERS

A party worker comforts another after the attack that killed at least 20 people. PHOTO: REUTERS

PESHAWAR: The interim government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has decided to replace the provincial chief secretary, inspector-general (IG), home secretary and commissioner Peshawar from their posts following the suicide attack on a political rally in the provincial capital.

The move came as the team failed to take necessary security measures in the province to prevent terrorist attacks. The changes were proposed in a document prepared by the interim chief minister for Islamabad and K-P’s establishment departments.

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A copy of the proposal is available with The Express Tribune.

A suicide attack on the corner meeting of Awami National Party (ANP) resulted in the martyrdom of PK-78 candidate Haroon Bilour along with 19 others, following which interim CM Justice (retd) Dost Mohammad Khan called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation.

The provincial information minister Zafar Iqbal Bangash told The Express Tribune that in the meeting, CM Khan expressed displeasure over the performance of the top cop and chief secretary for not following the Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) to ensure flawless security arrangements in the city shared with them a few days prior to the incident.

“The CM said he had given SOPs to the chief secretary Kamran Naveed Balouch and IG Police Mohammad Tahir but they did not follow them,” Bangash said referring to the discussion held on Tuesday night following the blast. The provincial minister said that the officers were to be removed, but he had no clue of the contents of the proposal prepared by CM Khan.

As per the proposal, Balouch, Tahir, Commissioner Shahab Ali Shah, and home secretary Ikramullah Khan are to be changed. The document further states that in the night-long emergency meeting held at CM house, Balouch failed to submit even a single report on the events and tasks of the day, and also failed to plan proper security arrangements.

CM Khan further requested Balouch’s return to the federal government and requested the establishment division to instead place Ahmed Hanif Orakzai at the provincial government’s disposal as the new chief secretary with immediate effect. An hour’s delay in the matter may lead to dire consequences, CM Khan writes in the letter.

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In the same vein, Dr Mohammad Naeem Khan has been proposed as the replacement for IG Tahir. The incumbent IG is not complying in true letter and spirit with the requirements of the decisions taken in the emergency meeting. Commissioner Shah has been termed an “unwilling worker” in the proposal and CM Khan proposed principal secretary to CM Mohammad Akbar Khan as a replacement for Shah.

A request to place incumbent secretary environment Zakir Hussain Afridi as replacement of Ikramullah as new home secretary has also been made.

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