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Senior Police Officers Threaten To Tender Their Resignations Over New ‘Reforms’

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LAHORE: Senior officers of the Punjab police strongly reacted to new ‘reforms’ at a meeting held at the Central Police Office on Wednesday, where they threatened to resign from their posts.

The police officers said that they would prefer to resign from service rather than allow the police department to be overtaken by the bureaucracy.

The conference, held over a video link, was called by Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Arif Nawaz Khan fearing a “revolt” in the department.

Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has given a go-ahead to the home departments to take control of the provincial police force in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

With the introduction of the new system, all major functions of the police would be performed by deputy commissioners (DCs) who would exercise judicial powers derived from 22A and 22B. They would also have the authority to inspect police stations.

Lahore City Police Officer B.A. Nasir, regional police officers (RPOs), district police officers (DPOs), city police officers (CTOs) and others attended the meeting. The officers unanimously rejected the new scheme by terming it as an attempt of the Pakistan Administrative Services to establish complete control over the police force.

An official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the participants would discuss their reservations with Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Usman Buzdar and parliamentarians. They also decided to highlight the past failures of DCs during the course of their service.

When the IGP shared the draft of the scheme with the participants, Gujranwala RPO Tariq Abbas Qureshi raised objection and threatened to tender his resignation. Meanwhile, Sahiwal RPO Humayun Bashir Tarrar, Sargodha RPO Afzaal Kausar and a few DPOs supported the police chief, said the official.

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The official further said that Multan RPO Wasim Sial and RPO Imran Mahmood did not agree with the resignation option and the police leadership to discuss this case with the CM.

CCPO Nasir was of the view that senior police officers must take the Punjab cabinet and the media into confidence on the matter. He suggested that the police department should bring alternative reforms and discuss these with the decision makers.

A DPO, requesting anonymity, said that the introduction of reforms in police was no less than a conspiracy because other departments, like health and education, were the worst performers.

Meanwhile, Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat held a meeting with the IGP and other senior police officers to discuss the concerns of the force. The minister assured the senior police officers that he would discuss their legitimate demands with the chief minister.

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