–Says the PM has executive powers to transfer any bureaucrat
–Info minister says there were multiple complaints against Islamabad police chief prior to transfer
–‘Over 100,000 complaints registered through Pakistan Citizens’ Portal’
ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday said that bureaucracy serves at the pleasure of the executive in a democracy and the premier can use his executive powers to transfer the inspectors general of police (IGPs).
He said this in reference to the transfer of Islamabad IGP Jan Muhammad Khan on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s orders.
While talking to the media in the federal capital, he asked, “How is it possible that an IGP does not answer a federal minister’s phone call?”
“It is not acceptable that chief secretaries and IGPs do not answer their phones,” he said, adding that the “matter regarding avoiding phone calls is not an issue of the government and the opposition”.
“There is a narrative being spread that if officers do not answer their phone calls, they will become heroes,” he said, adding that all IGPs are answerable to the prime minister.
“During our previous tenure in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), police officers were transferred following complaints against them,” he said, adding that he could not comment on reports of Islamabad police chief being transferred after refusing to answer Federal Minister Azam Swati’s calls over an incident at a farmhouse he owned.
Interior Minister Shahryar Afridi had also written to the premier regarding Jan Muhammad’s performance, stating that drug use in schools was widespread and bribery was common in the capital’s police stations. Afridi had added that the police chief was uncooperative.
Reasserting the powers of the prime minister, he said, “The prime minister and the chief ministers have executive powers which they will use. It is not possible that IGPs, deputy commissioners and the rest of bureaucracy are not answerable to the premier.”
Speaking about Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar taking notice of the incident, he said, “We respect the Supreme Court (SC) and will accept whatever it decides over the issue.”
The SC on Monday suspended the transfer notification of Jan Muhammad during a hearing after it was informed that he was transferred on the verbal orders of the prime minister.
“We cannot tolerate political meddling in the police. Governance of law should be maintained and we will not let our institutions falter,” CJP had said.
OVER 100,000 COMPLAINTS REGISTERED THROUGH CITIZENS’ PORTAL:
The information minister also said that after the launch of the Pakistan Citizens’ Portal by Prime Minister Imran Khan, over 100,000 complaints had been registered, adding that 50 per cent of those complaints were related to Punjab while 20 per cent were about Sindh. He said that the redressal status of the complaints would be uploaded by the weekend.
He termed the launch of the portal a landmark achievement, stating that many developed countries did not have this facility.
“The portal would be used to collect data about various departments and officers and help us evaluate their performance,” he said.
Speaking about the All Parties Conference (APC) called by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, he said that it was being held to seek National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) for the corrupt, adding that nobody would be given an NRO.
Talking about former premier Nawaz Sharif’s arrival at Parliament House, he said that since his political career is now over, he only goes to meet people there.
Responding to a question about the chairmanship of Public Accounts Committee (PAC), he said that if Shehbaz Sharif is appointed as the chairman then how he will hold meetings since he is currently in the custody of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He also said that opposition has no candidate with a clean track record.
Talking about PM Khan’s Bani Gala residence, the minister said that when the house was constructed thirty years ago, the area did not fell under the jurisdiction of Capital Development Authority (CDA) and its map was approved from Mohra Noor Union Council which was the authorised body back then. However, the area is now under CDA’s jurisdiction and the house will be regularized as per the directives of the apex court, he added.