Dastgir refuses to continue as Punjab IGP ‘till removal of CCPO’

LAHORE: In a surprise move, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Shoaib Dastgir has refused to work under the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government over the recent appointment of Umar Sheikh as the Lahore capital city police officer (CCPO) without consulting him, and has asked the chief minister to transfer him to a “suitable location”.

Another reason that is said to have prompted the IGP to take this step was some comments the CCPO had allegedly passed while talking to a few police officers on his first day in office, less than a week ago.

An official privy to the development told Media that IGP Dastgir met Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Monday and requested him for a “transfer to any other suitable place”, saying he would not continue as the provincial police chief until the removal of the CCPO.

He is also said to have skipped office on Monday and met with the chief minister in plain clothes, giving the Punjab government the message that he would not accept Mr Sheikh as the CCPO at any cost.

The official source said that the CCPO’s comments that are said to have irked the IGP were regarding the latter’s impending retirement passed while talking to a few police officers at his office.

As these words reached Mr Dastgir, he visited Islamabad on Friday and complained to Prime Minister Imran Khan, seeking transfer of the CCPO, which was turned down.

On his return to Lahore, the IGP refused to work till the transfer of the CCPO. Consequently, all scheduled meetings at the IGP office were postponed and Dastgir met the CM on Monday where he refused to continue further on the post.

Sources said Chief Minister Buzdar had recommended Mr Sheikh’s name to the prime minister for the CCPO slot. After a 45-minute interview, a federal government team sent by the PM had okayed Sheikh’s name, and the PM accorded his final approval during his visit to Lahore on Sept 3.

The IGP was allegedly not taken on board during the entire process.

Mr Dastgir did not respond to this reporter despite repeated attempts.