PTI’s Punjab CM faces action in police officer’s transfer case

Pakistan’s chief justice warns officers against cowering to political influence

Islamabad: Sardar Usman Buzdar, the ruling Pakistan Tehreeq e Insaf party’s Chief Minister of Punjab, has hardly completed a fortnight in office but he now has to face the wrath of a top court.

Buzdar, along with Inspector General of Police Kaleem Imam, is involved in a case pertaining to a police officer’s transfer reportedly under political influence.

The District Police Officer of Pakpattan Rizwan Gondal was allegedly transferred under the influence of Khawar Fareed Maneka, the former husband of current First Lady Bushra Bibi.

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered an inquiry into the mistreatment allegedly meted out to the daughter of Maneka, Mubashra Bibi, by Punjab police personnel. Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar apologised to her on behalf of the nation.

The court, however, at the same time ordered another inquiry regarding influence used by the chief minister in the transfer of Gondal.

Gondal was transferred after he allegedly misbehaved with Maneka when the latter complained to him about unfair treatment at a check post one day after Eid (August 23).

A few days prior to the incident, police in the district (on August 5) had also behaved rudely with his Mubashra Bibi while she was walking to the shrine of Hazrat Baba Farid in Pakpattan late one night.

Chief Minister Buzdar, taking notice of both the incidents, had asked Imam to transfer the Gondal from Pakpattan. However, the way the police officer was shown the door caught the attention of the media and later the Chief Justice took a suo moto of the whole matter.

On Monday, while hearing the case, the Chief Justice remarked that the court was sorry over the mistreatment suffered by Maneka’s daughter at the hands of police.

In the second matter pertaining to the transfer of Gondal, Imam informed the court that the orders to transfer the officer were issued verbally and that Gondal had not taken a notice of the incident in which Mubashra Bibi was mistreated.

He also submitted that he had directed Gondal not to visit the Chief Minister’s office.

The chief justice then asked why action was not taken against a friend of Maneka family, Ahsan Gujjar, who summoned the Police Officer in the Chief Minister Secretariat and tried to put pressure on them.

The chief justice asked how Gujjar knew Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.

“I am a citizen,” Gujjar responded. Justice Nisar then said, “Do not lie in the court. How are you related to the Maneka children. Are you their paternal or maternal uncle?”

Justice Nisar further remarked that people could not summon police to their homes and insult them.

Gondal submitted before the court that Gujjar had told him that during the British rule, the Maneka family’s properties were looked after by the deputy commissioners.

Regional Police Officer (RPO) of Sahiwal Shariq Kamal also affirmed what Gondal’s said. On this, a top judge remarked why the Punjab CM had asked a third person who had nothing to do in the matter to remain in his office and hold inquiry against senior police officers.

The chief justice also ordered Imam to show written orders of the transfer to which the latter responded that he had issued verbal orders.

Later, the court issuing orders of inquiry in both the matters adjourned hearing until next Monday.


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