–Ahsan Jameel Gujjar also objects to NACTA chief’s ‘vague’ report
ISLAMABAD: Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar on Saturday rejected an inquiry report deeming him responsible for the transfer of former Pakpattan DPO Rizwan Gondal.
A previous report by former Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kaleem Imam had found no political interference involved in the transfer. The Supreme Court rejected Imam’s report and ordered the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) chief Mehr Khaliq Lak to prepare a new report.
Lak, contrary to Imam’s findings, found the Chief Minister’s Office responsible for ordering the transfer.
A reply submitted by CM Buzdar on Saturday said that while the new report “treats the statement of Rizwan Gondal/DPO as gospel, it rubbishes all other statements without justifiable reasons and without much ado… The inquiry report merely rubberstamps the statement of the DPO.”
The chief minister’s response also claims Lak held a grudge against the present government for not appointing him inspector general of Punjab.
Buzdar, in his reply, asks for the report to be discarded for being lopsided, presumptuous and conjectural and “the matter be disposed of on the assurance of the chief minister that he shall ensure there is no interference in the working of police force.”
Ahsan Jameel Gujjar is a close friend of Khawar Maneka, the first lady’s former husband. After Maneka’s car was intercepted by Gondal in August, the Pakpattan DPO was called to a meeting at the CM House where Gujjar was present.
Gujjar also submitted a reply earlier on Saturday asking for proceedings against him to be dropped.
Gujjar says Lak “overstretched the statement, made by the respondent, to bring it within the province of misconduct”. His reply further states himself as an ordinary citizen who does not hold government or public office and so cannot be liable for misconduct.
Gondal had stated that he was transferred from his post, the orders being given in the middle of the night, after refusing to apologise to Maneka despite intimidation.
Both the inquiry reports investigate this meeting at the CM House and the conditions surrounding his transfer.
During a meeting at the Punjab CM’s office, in which the former Pakpattan DPO and the Sahiwal RPO were also present, Gujjar had complained about the two incidents and the refusal of the police to address the “mistreatment” meted out to the Maneka family, according Gondal’s
Gujjar had expressed suspicions that Maneka’s brothers — who the family believed to be associated with a rival political party and were not on good terms with the family after First Lady Bushra Imran’s divorce with Khawar Maneka — had played a role in the entire episode.
Gujjar had that the complaint was not addressed as he believed that the incident had unnecessarily deepened a divide in the Maneka family, according to a report prepared by former Punjab IGP Imam. The report said that the DPO had been miffed at the idea of meeting a stranger (Gujjar) as he felt it had been an attempt to pressurise him. He had felt like a stranger was grilling him in the presence of the chief minister and the RPO, the report added.
In August, Khawar Maneka was flagged to stop at a security picket in Pakpattan by police, but he allegedly refused and raced ahead. The police had subsequently chased him down and forced him to stop, after which harsh words were exchanged between the two parties.
When Gondal’s transfer orders started making rounds a few days later, it was widely speculated in the news and social media that that the police officer was transferred because of the incident.
It was believed that the officer was transferred for refusing to apologise in person to Maneka over the altercation between him and the police.
However, it later transpired that there had been two incidents involving a run-in between the Maneka family and local and highway police, which had led to acrimony between Khawar Maneka and Pakpattan police.
That acrimony finally came to a head when the Punjab police chief, the chief minister and the Maneka family got pulled into a messy dispute over how the matter should have been resolved, which ended with the abrupt transfer of Gondal from his police duties.