LAHORE - Federal Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan has been given a clean chit by the Punjab police in the Gujranwala firing case while two cops are removed from their positions to allay public criticism against the PML-N government, sources said on Thursday.
A senior police officer said on the condition of anonymity that the police hierarchy is directed by their provincial authorities to spare the federal minister for trade since he is a close ally of the prime minister.
According to a notification, Gujranwala SSP (Operation) Capt. ® Atta Muhammad and Additional-SP (Civil Lines) Muhammad Shoaib Khurram were transferred and closed to the Central Police Office (CPO) on Thursday. Both the officers are removed on the orders of Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Khan Baig.
Sources further said that many police officers are disappointed over the action taken against police officers as the powerful politician has been spared.
They said that whenever a crisis develops, only the police officers are punished to avoid growing criticism against the rulers.
During informal chat, a senior officer of DIG-rank was of the view that the governance could be improved until and unless the influential persons are brought to justice and the criminals cases are decided purely on merit. “Why the PM has not sacked this minister? Whenever a crisis develops in the policing, the cops are punished to provide safe passage to the influential politicians,” he underlined.
It may be recalled that heavy gunfire shook the entire Gujranwala City to give ‘warm welcome’ to Khurram Dastgir Khan when he arrived in his native town after becoming federal minister for trade. Last week, several gunmen riding on four-wheel drives and carrying automatic assault rifles accompanied the minister as his motorcade passed through the routes in Gujranwala city. The gunmen continued aerial firing in the presence of police protocol to ‘pay homage’ to the politician after he was given the portfolio of the federal minister. The heavy gunfire triggered horror and fear in the entire City. There were dozens of policemen including senior officers present at the site but there were silent spectators. None of them had the courage to act against the violators because they were given key postings on the recommendation of the same minister.
As the news channels continued grilling the powerful politicians, the Punjab government was left with other choice except to control the damage.
The display of weapons in public is banned in the province and as per the law the police are bound to take strict action against the accused found involved in aerial firing. But the senior police officers including Gujranwala regional police officer (RPO) preferred to stay silent instead of challenging the powerful minister. The CM also took notice of the incident but the action has been taken against the cops not the minister.