ISLAMABAD: Senior police officials, including Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kaleem Imam, neither ordered the transfer of former Pakpattan district police officer (DPO) Rizwan Gondal nor asked him to seek an apology from Khawar Maneka by going to his dera, an inquiry report disclosed on Saturday.
The transfer of Gondal stirred up a controversy last Monday as media reports suggested that the transfer was linked to an alleged altercation between the police official and First Lady Bushra Imran’s former husband Khawar Fareed Maneka. Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar has taken a suo motu notice of the issue surrounding Gondal’s transfer where he remarked that there would be trouble if the Pakpattan DPO was transferred over the orders of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar or anyone close to him.
According to details, the 11-page report prepared by Punjab Additional IG Abu Bakr Khuda Baksh over the transfer of Gondal found that the Punjab IGP and RPO did not order the transfer. The report relieves the IGP and RPO of the burden, citing that they did not order Gondal to seek an apology from Maneka.
TWO SEPARATE INCIDENTS:
The issue between Maneka and Gondal was created over two separate incidents that took place on August 5 and August 23.
According to the report, on Aug 5, former Pakpattan DPO received information through Special Branch Pakpattan that Bushra Bibi, PM Imran Khan’s wife, and her son Ibrahim were walking towards the shrine of Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar around Asadullahpur.
Local police officials, on the direction of the DPO, asked the first lady whether she needed security, at which she replied that they had their own security guards and did not require police security. The former DPO directed the security in-charge Sub-Inspector Asif to make necessary arrangements to avoid any untoward incident.
The report stated that Ibrahim Maneka and her sister were intercepted by a mobile vehicle of Punjab Highway Patrol (PHP), Shamasabad Post, around 2:15am. One of the PHP officials tried to physically stop her, directing to answer their questions, though the PHP officials insisted that they did not touch the girl. “Hot words were exchanged and meanwhile Sub Inspector Tariq reached on the spot and tried to handle the situation by explaining the matter to the police party,” the report reads.
Khawar Maneka, on the next day, complained to former DPO about the misconduct with his children the previous night.
The second incident took place on August 23 when the Elite Police team in Ali Bin Sultan Chowk signaled two pickups at 0045 hours to stop but they did not. According to Elite team officials, bar light of their vehicle was turned on and they signaled the vehicle to stop using a torch, however, Maneka stated that he did not see any signal or light of the police vehicle. Once the vehicle did not stop, the Elite team followed them and forced them to stop.
The report states that the team insisted on searching the vehicles whereas Maneka didn’t comply and contacted the DPO to again complain about the whole matter. The DPO then asked him to hand over the phone to the team’s in-charge and directed them to let go of Maneka and his family.
Former DPO, Rizwan Umar Gondal, submitted his initial statement on 27 August 2018 in which there is no mention of any direction from any authority of directing him to go to the dera of Maneka. However, on August 29, the former DPO submitted a supplementary statement wherein he elaborated in detail as to how he was called to the Chief Minister’s Office on the night of August 24 and was advised in a harsh manner to resolve the issue. “This clearly does not fall into the ambit of the present inquiry and has nothing to do with the issue at hand,” the report states.
Interestingly, the inquiry officer did not fix responsibility to anyone but he stated in his findings that the unfortunate incident could have been avoided if officials had focused solely on Ibrahim Maneka without physically stopping the lady during the incident of Aug 5. Ibrahim Maneka should have had politely introduced himself to the PHP officials, it suggests.
The inquiry report states, “Former DPO was duty bound to carry out an inquiry about the incident, the call of Khawar Maneka to the DPO on August 6 removes any doubt that he did not know the incident. Still, no action on part of DPO regarding alleged misbehavior of the police officials is unjustified”.
However, Gondal’s supplementary statement on August 29 further exacerbates the matter as he has mentioned visiting the Chief Minister’s Office on the night August 24 which is clearly outside the ambit of this inquiry.
The inquiry officer recommended in the report that the police across the province should adopt a standardised picketing setup. In addition to this, the DPOs must be directed to have close liaison with the PHP units within the jurisdiction of their district as case, some officials of the PHP have been found at fault and departmental proceedings are underway.
The DPOs across the province should be directed to take necessary legal action in case of dire threats to the police to establish the writ of the Government, the report reads.