KARACHI: The long-standing issue of cancelling the out-of-turn promotions of police officials, as directed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, was finally resolved on Tuesday as the 12 remaining senior police officers were asked to step down from their posts.
While the decision has irked the demoted officers, who believe they are among the best in the police force, they have stated that they will accept the apex court’s decision and will continue to serve in the police - given that their departments treat them properly.
The officers which have been demoted include chiefs of the Anti-Extremist Cell of the Crime Investigation Department SSP Chaudhry Mohammad Aslam Khan, Special Investigation Unit SSP Farooq Awan, Anti-Violent Crime Cell SSP Niaz Khosa, CID SSP Fayyaz Khan, CID’s Counter Terrorism and Financial Crime Unit SSP Raja Umer Khattab, CID SP Mazhar Mashwani, and other officers of the police’s specialised units - DSP Amir Hameed, DSP Wasif Qureshi, DSP Rao Aslam, DSP Usman Asghar Qureshi, DSP Chaudhry Ghulam Safdar and DSP Ali Raza.
Chaudhry Aslam, Farooq Awan and Niaz Ahmed Khosa have been reverted to rank of DSP, seven others to the rank of inspectors and Fayyaz Khan has been demoted to a sub-inspector.
A legal matter
The issue of turn-of-promotions had been dragged in the courts for the last five years. Finally on June 12, a bench of three judges, headed by Justice Amir Hani Muslim, declared the Sindh Police Shoulder Promotions Act, which was enacted through an ordinance, void and directed that the police officers holding the rank of deputy superintendent of police (DSPs) to deputy inspector general (DIGs) be demoted to the same ranks as their batch mates.
Following the apex court’s orders, the Sindh Chief Secretary had constituted a committee to review each case and forward it to the Sindh Chief Minister to give his approval for the petition within 21 days of the apex court’s decision. The Sindh government, however, had asked for two more months to implement the orders.
On July 13, the out-of-turn promotions of 59 police officials were cancelled but the committee asked for one more month to demote the remaining 12 officers. “The report submitted to the court clearly stated that the remaining out-of-turn promotions would be cancelled within a month - this left the government no other option but to follow through with the demotions, otherwise the court could have taken action against them,” said an officer of the legal department of the Sindh police on the condition of anonymity.
Working with conditions
The officers who were demoted on Tuesday have accepted the court’s decision but voiced their agitation against those who were involved in promoting them. “We cannot fight with the judiciary,” said Raja Umer Khattab who was recruited in the police department in 1990 as an ASI, while talking to The Express Tribune. “We are being punished for being promoted but what about those who sanctioned our promotions? It was their responsibility to make a proper law before giving us higher ranks.” He said that he, along with his companions, would continue to serve the police if their departments treat them “properly”.
“The people behind our demotions are the enemies of this country,” said Chaudhry Aslam Khan. “They wanted to destablise the country.”
The demoted officers will continue to serve as the chiefs of their units for now. Sources in the police department, however, told The Express Tribune that the department is looking to appoint new officers on the posts of the chiefs of the specialised units. On the other hand, some senior police officers believe that the department will allow them to continue their duties as the chiefs of their units.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2013.
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