Pakpattan DPO’s transfer was politically influenced, says report submitted in SC

ISLAMABAD, Oct 03 (INP): An inquiry report submitted in the Supreme Court on Wednesday stated that former Pakpattan District Police Officer (DPO) Rizwan Gondal was transferred on the basis of political intervention.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard a suo motu notice of the former DPO’s transfer following an alleged altercation with Khawar Maneka — the former husband of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s wife.

During the hearing, National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) chief Maher Khaliq Dad Lak submitted an inquiry report which stated that the former Pakpattan DPO’s transfer was done on the basis of influence.

The report said that during the meeting at Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s office, Ahsan Jameel Gujjar behaved in a humiliating manner and former IGP Kaleem Imam “played the role of a rubber stamp”. “One issue was of the Punjab chief minister’s conduct,” the report added. It was humiliating to give a message to the DPO and so was stating that everyone will lose in the matter although in hindsight stating that ‘everyone will lose’ is an obvious threat, the report added. Further, the report stated that Ahsan Jameel Gujjar became the guardian of Maneka children “of his own will”. “There can be an investigation against him after legal opinion as this is a legal matter,” the report added. Following this, the chief justice remarked, “Gondal was transferred following the meeting at the Punjab CM House.” Justice Nisar then asked, “Given the circumstances what should the court conclude?” To this, the advocate general Punjab responded, “There is no evidence regarding the provincial chief minister’s intervention in police matters.” “The Punjab chief minister is the head of the province and we have no reservations to the steps taken by him but have reservations on the fact that a stranger spoke to the DPO and RPO,” he added. The inquiry officer further told the court, “After the transfer, a call regarding the change in charge was also made from the Punjab CM House at 11pm. The Punjab CM’s PSO also made contact with various officers.” Khaliq Dad Lak further said, “The evidence supports Gondal’s stance. RPO Sahiwal had said the transfer should not be made till an inquiry was conducted.” Khawar Maneka then burst into tears and told the court, “Police mistreated me and my family. Would I have spoken to my ex-wife or Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding the matter?” To this, the chief justice asked Maneka, “There is no need to get emotional here and you should not get involved as we have conducted our inquiry.” Further, the chief justice passed remarks on Punjab chief minister’s close friend Ahsan Jameel Gujjar and said, “Why don’t we take up a case against him in the anti-terrorism court.” “Today, Ahsan Jameel Gujjar is issuing apologies and a day earlier his tone was different,” Justice Nisar added. The court then ordered that a copy of the report be sent to Punjab CM Usman Buzdar and former Punjab IG Kaleem Imam. Further, the court summoned a reply from the Punjab CM on the report within three days. Justice Nisar then remarked, “Not everyone can be forgiven, will we keep accepting apologies.” The hearing of the case was then adjourned for one week. Last month, the chief justice rejected an inquiry report submitted by former Punjab IG Kaleem Imam and directed Khaliq Dad Lak to conduct the inquiry into the matter. In August, reports of Gondal’s transfer sparked controversy as speculation suggested that the police officer was transferred because of the August 23 altercation between police and Khawar Maneka — the former husband of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s wife. According to reports, police personnel under Gondal’s watch tried to stop Maneka at a checkpoint for speeding but he did not stop. The police then chased his vehicle and managed to intercept him. Then Punjab IGP, Imam, soon after the reports, denied that Gondal was transferred under any pressure and said it was done due to his giving misleading statements about misbehaviour by police personnel with a citizen. INP/LK