In a surprise move, the PTI-led Punjab government on Tuesday removed the incumbent Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Shoaib Dastgir from his post.
The move came after Dastgir refused to work with Umar Sheikh, who was recently appointed by the provincial government as Lahore’s capital city police officer (CCPO) without consulting his office.
A day earlier, the IGP had met Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and requested him for a “transfer him to any other suitable place”. Reportedly, he had told the CM he would not continue as the IGP until the CCPO was removed.
Dastgir had complained that he was not consulted when the decision to appoint the CCPO was taken.
However, the Cabinet Secretariat Cabinet Division on Tuesday issued a notification announcing that Inam Ghani, a BS-21 officer of the Police Service of Pakistan, "is transferred and posted as Provincial Police Officer (PPO)… with immediate effect and until further orders".
Ghani was previously serving as South Punjab additional IG. He also served as Punjab additional IG operations. Before his transfer to the province, he also spent a significant amount of time at Khyber Pakhtunkha’s (K-P) Counter Terrorism Department (CTD).
Speaking to reporters outside the Punjab Assembly later in the day, Chief Minister Buzdar said the first priority of new IGP Inam Ghani would be establishing law and order in the province.
He said the province is being governed by a set of rules and regulations.
“People come and go but the system remains in place. Matters are decided in consultation with the chief executive and the province.
“It is not possible for someone to tell us not to appoint an officer to a post. Whoever is the best for the province, will be appointed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Punjab Additional Inspector General Police (AIGP) Tariq Masood Yasin has refused to work under the newly appointed IGP. AIGP Yasin, in a letter written to the authorities, said Ghani was junior to him so he cannot work under his command.
Following the appointment of Ghani as the IGP, the post of South Punjab additional IG has fallen vacant. Buzdar has ordered the newly appointed IGP to set up a panel of three officers in this connection.
Earlier, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb demanded that the prime minister and the provincial chief minister resign as the "bureaucracy has lost their trust in the two".
“IG Punjab's refusal to work with the chief minister is a proof of the failure of the prime minister's governance,” Marriyum claimed. The PML-N spokesperson said IG Punjab's statement that “there are issues of misconduct” is a matter of great concern.
“This is a proof that the rulers are using the institutions for politics,” she said, “For two years now, we have been warning and pointing out that the institutions are being interfered with.”
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