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Promotion of officer accused in Model Town case raises questions

Interestingly, the promotion of the officer has come under question since he is one of the main accused in the horrific Model Town massacre of 2014. Also, PTI had vowed to take action against those responsible for events marked by police brutality.

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The recently installed Punjab government led by PTI candidate Chief Minister Parvez Elahi has okayed the transfer of at least eight senior police officers.

According to the details, Inspector general Police Punjab issued orders for the appointment and transfer of eight senior police officers including 3 DPOs.

Additional Director Administration SPU Tariq Aziz has been posted as DPO Sargodha while DPO Sargodha Bilal Zafar Sheikh has been replaced as Additional Director SPU. The services of DPO Okara Muhammad Hasan Iqbal were handed over to the Intelligence Bureau, while SP Investigation Okara Khalid Mahmood Tabasim was given an additional charge of DPO Okara.

Read more: Urban Policing and Police reforms in Pakistan

Dr Fahad Ahmed, awaiting posting, was posted as DPO Jhelum vice Aamir Khan Niazi who was directed to report to the Central Police Office.

Meanwhile, DSP Internal Accountability Branch Sargodha Nilufar Hayat was posted as SDPO Bhalwal vice Muhammad Nawaz who was directed to report to the CPO.

Promotion of officers raises suspicion

Interestingly, the promotion of Tariq Aziz as DPO Sargodha has come under question. Important to note that Tariq Aziz is one of the main accused in the horrific Model Town massacre of 2014.

To clarify, a deadly clash took place on 17 June 2014 where 14 members of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) got killed and 85 were injured by the indiscriminate use of force by the Punjab police. The Model Town tragedy made headlines across the world and the PML-N government was criticized and exposed for following a vested political agenda.

Read more: Model Town tragedy was the worst incident of violation of Chadar aur Char Diwari, Fawad Ch

Therefore, Tariq Aziz’s promotion is garnering criticism, since PTI had often slammed PML-N for police violence. Moreover, PTI, on numerous occasions had vowed to hold those officers accountable who were accused of police brutality, for instance in the 25th May PTI Azadi march.

“What is PTI doing? After the 10th of Muharram, action was to be taken against those responsible for the Model Town and May 25 tragedy. Instead of doing that, you did this to those gentlemen who were jumping around on June 17 telling the policemen where to shoot,” journalist Ali Mumtaz tweeted while referring to Tariq Aziz’s confession.

“Appointment of SP Tariq Aziz as DPO Sargodha by the CM Punjab Pervez Elahi is quite suspicious. Tariq Aziz is accused in the Model Town Massacre case and the CM being an ally of PTI was expected to take serious actions against the accused,” Amir Yusuf Chaudhry tweeted. 

Interestingly, former federal minister Moonis Elahi said Tariq Aziz was appointed on special request of PTI parliamentarians conveyed through the PTI leadership.

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