News Analysis |
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has suspended the notification announcing the appointment of Amjad Javed Saleemi as the Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP). The ECP informed the Establishment Division through a letter that it had suspended the Cabinet Division’s notification as it was a violation of the commission’s directives of September 3, 2018, banning postings and transfers of government officials in the wake of the by-elections scheduled for October 14.
Moreover, the ECP director (elections) instructed the establishment secretary to explain within two days why Sep 3instructions regarding transfer and posting “have not been complied with”. The government had issued a notification and replaced the IGP Punjab.
PM Imran Khan has reaffirmed his agenda many a time that the police will be de-politicized so that law and order situation improves. PTI-led government is often given the credit of freeing KP police of political influence.
It is worth mentioning here that the IGP Punjab had been changed for a second time in two months, as Saleemi replaced Muhammad Tahir as the provincial police chief. The Cabinet Secretariat’s notification had announced the change “with immediate effect and until further orders”. Prior to this, Mr. Kaleem Imam was made the IGP Sindh who was working in Punjab on the same post. Mr. Imam was accused of working as ‘rubber stamp’ under the leadership of CM Usman Buzdar.
Opposition Shows Reservations
The opposition termed the transfer an attempt to steal the upcoming by-polls. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb alleged that the government’s decision to replace the Punjab police chief just days ahead of by-elections was aimed at rigging the October 14 by-polls.
She was addressing a press conference when she urged the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar to take notice of the issue. She also pleaded the CJP to look into the tactics being used by the PTI-led government to defeat the opposition.
Prior to this, Mr. Kaleem Imam was made the IGP Sindh who was working in Punjab on the same post. Mr. Imam was accused of working as ‘rubber stamp’ under the leadership of CM Usman Buzdar.
She maintained that the government was trying to give a tough time to the opposition by changing officials in Punjab. The PML-N has already alleged the ruling PTI of stealing the up-coming general elections after the arrest of party head Mr. Shahbaz Sharif. . It is important to mention here that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is all set to hold the by-elections for 11 parliamentary seats and 19 provincial assembly seats on Oct. 14.
Government Gives Clarification
The government has rejected the allegations leveled by the opposition. Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry claimed that Muhammad Tahir was being replaced for not abiding by the government orders. The government had also developed disagreements with the Punjab IG over some inter-departmental issues, he added. PTI-led government is facing severe criticism these days for its allegedly inexperienced team.
The critics become more powerful and vocal when the SC directed NACTA chairman to probe into Pakpattan incident and the findings proved that the CM Punjab had played a role in the transfer of the DPO. Later on, the SC asked CM Punjab to submit an unconditional apology and assure the court that incidents like one will not take place in the future. Analysts termed this case as the victory of CM Punjab who despite playing a role in the transfer of a DPO and confessing to his action was forgiven by the court.
PM Imran Khan has reaffirmed his agenda many a time that the police will be de-politicized so that law and order situation improves. PTI-led government is often given the credit of freeing KP police of political influence. It was largely expected that the party will introduce the same in Punjab. For many political commentators and common people in Pakistan, it is a gross violation of the agenda of the PTI that the police are still being influenced by the political bigwigs.