An odd side story to the ongoing ‘revolutionary’ campaign emerged on Saturday, as cheques distributed by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif among Rawalpindi police personnel injured during clashes with Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) workers have bounced.
The CM and Interior Minister Chaudary Nisar Ali Khan visited District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ) in Rawalpindi to check up on policemen injured during clashes between PAT workers and the police around Benazir Bhutto International Airport when Qadri flew in to Pakistan.
The CM appreciated the bravery of police personnel and distributed cheques among them. He visited different wards and met injured policemen and handed 40 injured officials cheques for Rs300,000 each. However, the cheques bounced.
A police official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Express Tribune that when the cheques were dishonoured by the banks, the cops started protesting. He said that it created a wave of panic and worry among the force. The official said Rawalpindi City Police Officer (CPO) Humayun Bashir Tarar demanded that all the officials return the cheques in a bid to save the government from further embarrassment.
The CPO also threatened them with strict action if they refused to return the cheques, he said, adding that most of the officials returned the cheques, but some not only refused to give back the cheques but also threatened to lodge a first investigation report against the CM. He added that at least 40 cheques had been dishonoured at banks.
The office of the CM told The Express Tribune that only the Rawalpindi police could provide details. The CPO was not available for comment.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 10th, 2014.