Most of the Elite Force personnel deployed for VIP and VVIP security shall not be withdrawn for at least another two months when they may be replaced with ex-servicemen the government plans to recruit.
Top officials disagree on whether 100 or 500 personnel have returned as yet.
Inspector General (IG) Habibur Rehman had announced on July 19 that all Elite Force personnel will be withdrawn from VVIP duty. The decision was taken at a meeting attended by Additional IG Malik Khuda Baksh Awan, CCPO Aslam Tareen, Investigation Additional IG Naseemuz Zaman, Research and Development Additional IG Anwar Virk, Welfare and Finance Additional IG Sarmad Saeed, PHP Additional IG Khan Baig and Special Branch Additional IG Nasir Khan Durrani.
Operations DIG Muhammad Tahir Rai told The Express Tribune that only about 100 Elite Force personnel had been withdrawn from VVIP security.
He said four personnel had been withdrawn from the chief minister, one from Dost Mohammad Khosa, 6 from the American Consulate, 32 from different police officials and 6 from the Lahore High Court chief justice Umar Ata Bandial. He said the Elite Force personnel could not be withdrawn until the planned recruitment of ex-servicemen who might replace them. He said the chief minister had yet to approve the plan for the recruitment of ex-servicemen. He said the recruitment would likely take two months.
Additional Inspector General Malik Khuda Bakhsh Awan told The Tribune that the impression that the IG’s order is being violated was false. He said around 500 of 700 Elite Force on VVIP duty had returned to operating assignments. He said the remaining 200 officials were serving with some VVIPs had not been withdrawn on account of sensitivity of the matter.
The Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had announced that 4,000 ex-servicemen will be recruited on contract basis to improve the law and order in Lahore.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2012.
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