Punjab IG removed from post after dispute with CCPO Lahore

Punjab will get its sixth inspector general of police, in two years, after the Prime Minister gave the approval to remove incumbent Shoaib Dastagir from his post over his ongoing stand-off with Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Umar Shaikh.

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Dastagir’s removal will make him the fifth police chief to have been sacked in the last two years of PTI government.

Earlier, sources had informed that the survival of both the officers was dependent on the prime minister’s decision.

The removal also comes hours after Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Umar Sheikh offered to apologise to Dastagir after an alleged dispute between the two.

In a meeting of Police Service of Pakistan Chapter, chaired by Additional IGP Rao Sardar, Sheikh clarified his position on the ongoing controversy.

“I am ready to offer an unconditional apology to IGP Punjab. The IG is my commander and it is my duty to obey his orders,” the CCPO told media adding that he had not disobeyed any orders from him.

He said that the IGP had so far issued two orders which were implemented and whatever he said in a meeting of police officers was wrongly conveyed to the IGP.

The meeting was also attended by Additional IGP Special Branch, Additional IGP CTD, and the former CCPO. The issue had also landed in the office of Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar, who had assured the police that he will listen to both parties.

The alleged dispute

Last week, the Punjab government faced an unusual situation when the newly appointed CCPO was accused of speaking against the provincial police chief.

Sources told media that IGP Dastagir became upset when CCPO Sheikh allegedly told his subordinates that on any sensitive issue the Lahore police must seek his permission even if they received directions from the Central Police Office.

CCPO Sheikh told media that he was trying to meet the IGP but had not succeeded yet.

He also shared with the publication a WhatsApp message that he claimed to have sent to Dastagir apologising for what he called the “confusion” attributed to his statement, which was perceived as going against the provincial police chief.

Timeline of change of Punjab police chiefs

Punjab has changed five IGPs to date, since the 2018 elections.

Inspector General Police (IGP) Punjab  Appointment  Removal
Dr. Syed Kaleem Imam  13 June, 2018 11 September, 2018
Muhammad Tahir 11 September, 2018  15 October, 2018
Amjad Javed Saleemi 15 October, 2018 17 April, 2019
Capt. (R) Arif Nawaz Khan 17 April, 2019 28 November, 2019
Shoaib Dastgir 28 November, 2019 8 September, 2020

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