Tuesday Sep 15, 2020
Punjab Minister for Information and Culture Fayyazul Hassan Chohan has said former Inspector General of Punjab Police Shoaib Dastageer made ‘a mistake’ by refusing to work with the incumbent CCPO Lahore and subsequently resigning from his post.
“Dastageer is a man of respectable bearing. He’s worked with me for almost ten months. He is an upright person,” Chohan told Geo News current affairs programme ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’ on Monday.
“It was on Dastageer’s own will [that he was relieved of his responsibilities] as he said he cannot work [with the provincial government] anymore.”
Chohan further said it is underneath a government officer to say that he cannot get along with this or that person.
"Though he was an honest person, but he made a mistake here," the minister said, adding this that mistake has no precedent in an organisation like the police force, which requires organisational discipline.
On a question regarding Dastageer’s complaint of insubordination from the Lahore CCPO, the minister said he cannot further discuss the matter in public.
Chohan also lavished praised on new Punjab IG Inam Ghani for a major breakthrough in the Motorway rape case, saying, “It’s his achievement that he solved the case within 72 hours.”
He said, “It was a crime that has only one witness, the victim herself. And she was so psychologically affected that she could not participate in the investigation in any way possible.”
Chohan said hence the credit should be given to Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and IG Ghani for sorting out the case.
As regards Lahore CCPO Umar Sheikh’s statement regarding the Motorway assault victim, Fayyaz said the officer’s remarks were condemned by all quarters, including PM House and the Punjab CM. He said he himself had denounced the police officer’s remark multiple times during the last couple of days.
Moreover, he said, the officer has been served a show-cause notice by the IG, adding the police officer tendered an apology before the Lahore High Court and begged pardon in front of a battery of media personnel on Monday.
He went on to say that every person is not ready to face the media, which is why the Punjab government issued directions a few weeks back that no government employee will give public statements. He said the provincial government issued the directions as a couple of incidents took place in which panic spread in society during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Regarding Sheikh’s appointment as the Lahore police chief, Fayyaz said the Lahore CCPO didn’t reach the 20-grade level in two years of the PTI government alone, as he has been getting promotions during his entire career. The last ten years of his career were Shehbaz Sharif’s era, he said.
Replying to a question regarding the government’s action against Sheikh, the provincial information minister said he [Sheikh] has been served a show-cause for misconduct as is the practice in every country.
"Once the show-cause is duly responded, the person in question has to appear before a disciplinary body where he/she further clarifies himself/herself then a final decision is taken but after a proper process," he highlighted. Similarly, the competent authorities will look into his matter and decide accordingly, he said.
The minister also called in question the IB report against the Lahore police chief, saying it’s quite unfortunate that no one has ever tried to reform the police department during the last 72 years. He underlined that DIG Abdul Jabbar was given the best post after he had killed 14 people and paralysed 80 others.
Dr Tauqeer Shah, he continued, who was held as the main culprit behind the Model Town massacre, also landed in the most attractive job. Similarly, all the corrupt and most cruel police officers involved in the same incident were given top-class postings.
These are the traditions that set a foothold during the rule of the PPP and the PML-N, he said.
Responding to a question regarding the leak of information of the Motorway assaulters, he said the CM has already given proper instructions to the home secretary to investigate the lapse.
He said he was contacted by so many television channels about the progress in the investigation but he avoided all of them until the CM tweeted to this effect.
He said, “Last week during a high-level meeting, the IG said we have to keep the information under wraps as Abid Ali’s phone is still active and we’ll catch him. The police are tracking him and his arrest is likely in a couple of hours. But, the very next morning, the information was leaked to two news channels.”