Six senior police officers have been asked to explain why they attended an iftar at the American Consulate without permissions from higher authorities, while the officers themselves have expressed shock at the attention the case is getting.
Neebla Gazanfar, the director of public relations at the Punjab Police Headquarters, said all six officers had been served notices and given three days to respond.
All six would be summoned to the inspector general’s (IG) office to explain their actions.
One of the police officers said he had been to events at the American Consulate before and was surprised that Inspector General Javed Iqbal had sought an explanation.
The six officers are Deputy Inspector General (DIG) (Training) Arif Nawaz, Superintendent of Police (SP) (VVIP security) Waqas Hassan, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) (Administration) Tariq Abass, Headquarters SP Romail Akram, SSP Major Nasrullah and 1Elite Training Director Captain Shehar Yar.
SP Akram said that the matter had been blown out of proportion. He said officers had met with embassy personnel in the past. “The issue is being highlighted for no sane reason,” he said.
Another of the officers said that he did not see reason for an inquiry into the matter. “The officers regularly have meetings with embassy officials so I don’t see what was so special about their iftar,” he said. At a meeting separately on Thursday, DIG (Operations) Ghulam Mehmood Dogar, answering a query about the consulate soiree, said that he had given the officers verbal permission to attend the event, which was aimed at improving the relationship between the police and American consulates, he added.
The police did not make clear what rules the six men were accused of violating, but a legal expert told The Express Tribune that Section 5(4) of the Government Servants Conduct Rules 1964 prohibited government servants from accepting gifts from representatives of foreign government and an iftar dinner, he said, counted as a gift.
He said that the officials could be prosecuted under the Punjab Employees Efficiency and Discipline Act and punished with the cessation of their increments or termination of their contracts.
He said usually the first step taken against officers who violated the rule was that their increments were stopped.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2011.