Retired babus engulfing parties

political partiesLAHORE: After serving on key positions in the Police Department, Intelligence Bureau (IB), and Federal Investigations Agency (FIA), several retired officers have joined different political parties and now they are almost ‘movers and shakers’ in the country’s chaotic politics, it has been reliably learnt.

After their retirements, these characters initially took ‘refuge’ in the leading political parties including PML-N, PTI, PPP and PML-Q due one or another reason but these days they are, infact, calling the shots in the politics. Former Inspector General of Police Punjab Jehanzaib Burki, Shaukat Javed, ex-IGP Balochistan Chaudhry Yaqoob, ex-Director FIA Ahmed Riaz Sheikh, ex-DG IB Masood Sharif Khattak, former SSP Chaudhry Shafqaat Ahmed and Chaudhry Qamar-uz-Zaman are a few examples in this regard.

Former Inspector General of Police Punjab Jehanzaib Burki and Shaukat Javed ‘joined’ PML-N to serve the purposes of their political masters while ex-IGP Balochistan Chaudhry Yaqoob, ex-DG IB Masood Khattak are seen actively working in Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf these days.‘This trend is not a new in our politics though usually the retired officers of police and intelligence agencies avoid all kinds of politics. This trend is picking up momentum’, political experts said.

These retired officers not only help their political masters in legal and administrative ‘affairs’ to improve the ranking of the party, they are associated with, but also assist them in running propaganda campaigns against the rival groups. Interestingly, they are rewarded with huge incentives by the concerned political party. Sources said that such retirees also collect important information from the departments where they had served for many years to use it for political gains.

Such retired officers-cum-politicians also help their parties in engineering election campaigns by hook or by crook and to some extent play the role of makers and breakers.Jehanzaib Burki: The ex-IGP Punjab Jehanzaib Burki is serving the PML-N as Adviser to Chief Minister Punjab and gives ‘guidelines’ to his political bosses on the issues related to law and order.However, sources in the Police Department said that Burki also influences the functioning of the department. They said that Burki is playing an important role in all high-level postings and transfers related to the department.

His opponents say that many police officers are annoyed with Burki, who pokes his nose in every matter relating to Punjab policing. They further revealed the ex-IGP Burki is the person who calls the shots in the Police Department. According to sources, Burki a well-known character in the power politics, also helps the PML-N in counter-propaganda campaigns as far as the maintenance of law and order situation in the Punjab province is concerned. He is likely to be given an important ‘task’ ahead of next elections to bring some politicians back in the PML-N.

Shaukat Javed: Though the ex-IGP Punjab Shaukat Javed is serving as member of the Punjab Public Service Commission these days but he is more loyal to the PML-N than other retirees. He is also known for playing a key role whenever a situation of make or break develops in the Punjab politics. Sources said that whenever the PML-N leadership assigned him any political task, he always come up to the satisfaction of his masters.
Chaudhry Yaqoob: Ex-Inspector General Police Balochistan Chaudhry Yaqoob has joined PTI as he failed to remain in the good books of the Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.

According to police circles, he never enjoyed good repute in the police service.Upon his retirement in July 2009, Chaudhry Yaqoob had been appointed as Chairman CM’s Task Force for Sports by Shahbaz Sharif himself.He was desperately trying to get political stature within PML-N but poorly failed to get the job as many in the party offered strong resistance, pointing out the dirty baggage he was carrying. After seeing no hope, he has joined the PTI and is now ready to perform the tasks assigned to him in his ‘capacity.’ Sources in the political circles believe that he would help formulate the PTI policy on police and law and order.

Masood Sharif Khattak: The former Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB) Masood Sharif Khattak, once a close aide to President Asif Ali Zardari, has recently announced his decision to join the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). He expressed confidence that the PTI had the capacity to resolve problems of masses, adding, that he would definitely ‘come up to the expectations’ of the public and the PTI, especially after coming into power. He is one of the influential officers who during their postings and even after retirement had played key role to engineer election campaigns and mending public opinion. Sources believed that he would serve the PTI’s interests to engineer political campaigns and to counter-propaganda campaign against his new party.

Ahmed Riaz Sheikh: The ex-Additional Director General of FIA Ahmed Riaz Sheikh was arrested from the court room in 2010 in a corruption case and later he was removed from his post.He is a well-known figure in the Zardari-led PPP. His wife, Shabina Riaz, was elected on reserve seat as MPA in the Punjab Assembly. The Lahore High Court had handed him five years jail term and Rs 20 million fine under corruption charges. The Supreme Court in its decision had ordered NAB to confiscate the property of Ahmed Riaz Sheikh.Sources in the political circles said that Ahmed Riaz Sheikh is currently ‘looking into’ the financial matters and contribute generously to arrange the PPP’s public meetings in the Punjab province.

Ch Shafqaat Ahmed: The PML-Q leader and ex-Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi had promoted Chaudhry Shafqaat Ahmed to the rank of SSP from DSP. During Pervaiz Elahi’s tenure, Chaudhry Shafqaat used to manipulate election results. During by-polls, he used to sit on the sage in uniform alongwith party candidates in Lahore to force the local residents to vote for his party, the PML-Q.To some extent, he has gone underground since the Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif ordered strict action against him for his open connections to the land mafia.

Interestingly, the Chaudhry’s of Gujrat during their tenure in Punjab did not take many ex-officers from the IB, FIA and police in their party but they had reappointed hundreds of officers in these department. These officers actually used to serve the purposes of the Chaudhry’s rather than the department.Pervaiz Elahi had also reappointed Chaudhry Qamar-uz-Zaman, once a traffic inspector, as SSP (Inspection and Vigilance) in the Punjab police. – Nation