Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), a democratically elected government in Punjab has beaten military ruler Ziaul Haq regime when it comes to the pace of premature transfers of inspector general of police (IGPs). In three years, the PTI government removed six IGPs.
The pace is unprecedented when the tenure of IGPs in Punjab comes to question since 1947. It has a near parallel to the tenure of General Ziaul Haq as five IGPs were removed in the first three years of his rule.
Zia took reins of the government after toppling Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s government in April 1977. At that time, Chaudhry Fazal-e-Haq was serving as IGP Punjab. In July, he was removed and replaced by Commander MAR Arif in July 1977. Hardly two months later, Arif was replaced by Khawaja Masrur Hussain in September 1977.
In February 1978, Hussain was also removed as IGP Punjab and Habibur Rehman Khan was appointed as IGP in February 1978. Khan was replaced by Muhammad Azam Qazi in July 1979.
On the other hand, when PTI took reins of the country, Dr Syed Kaleem Imam had been serving as IGP.
On September 11, 2018, he was replaced by Muhammad Tahir. Muhammad Tahir had served as IG KPK during the General Elections 2018.
Hardly a month had passed, he was also transferred on October 15, 2018, and Amjad Javed Saleemi was appointed in his place. Reportedly as a mark of protest, Police Reforms Commission Head Nasir Durrani also resigned as a mark of protest against the removal.
Saleemi too could hardly serve for six months as commander of the force. He was removed as IGP on April 17, 2019, and the command stick was handed over to Captain Arif Nawaz Khan.
On November 28, hardly six months had passed Arif was also transferred as IGP and Shoib Dastagir set foot in his place.
Reportedly, Prime Minister Imran Khan with personal interest, and after assurances, promises, the evaluation had appointed Dastaghir.
Last year, on September 09, 2020, Dastaghir was removed from his post after controversy and conflict with then CCPO Umar Shoaib Sheikh. According to few reports, Dastaghir was annoyed after Sheikh as CCPO Lahore uttered a few ‘non-parliamentary and unpleasant words about the Provincial Police Officer.
Dastaghir had lodged a protest before Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar and Prime Miniter Imran Khan about his reservations for serving alongside Sheikh as his subordinate. However, the political bigwigs did not pay heed to his word and stepped him down from his post.
His removal in such a disgraceful manner had stirred an uprising among police officers circles.
A large number of them had gathered and issued a declaration in support of outgoing IGP Dastaghir and disdained the government decision.
The government stuck to its decision of keeping intact the post of Umar Sheikh as CCPO Lahore and appointed Inam Ghani as IGP Punjab on September 09, 2020.
The data available with The Express Tribune showed that at least 50 IGPs have served since 1947 till date. The average tenure span becomes 16 months.
None of the six IGPs could complete even one year of service under the PTI government. The outgoing IGP Inam Ghani has been transferred two days before he could serve his one year tenure as IGP Punjab. Ghani was appointed as IGP on September 9. The average time span for an IGP’s service under the PTI government has been slashed to six months.