Instead, the chief minister has expressed strong dissatisfaction with the working and performance of the Punjab Police Department, and has directed the authorities concerned to improve their performance and tame SHOs by asking them to reform the typical thana culture.
Currently, two DIGs, one each of operations and investigation; two SSPs, one each of operations and investigation; and 12 divisional SPs, six each of operations and investigation, are working under the Lahore CCPO.
The Punjab IGP, in consultation with selected additional IGPs, had proposed to divide Lahore Capital Police in North and South Police Zones. If approved, the North Police Zone, headed by a DIG, would have three police divisions, 11 circles and 39 police stations. Of the 39 police stations in the North Zone, the Civil Lines Division would have 12 police stations; the Cantonment Police Division would have 14 police stations; and the Model Town Division would have 13 police stations.
Similarly, a DIG would head the South Police Zone with three police divisions, 12 circles and 45 police stations under his command. Of the 45 police stations in the South Police Zone, the City Division would have 20 police stations; the Iqbal Town Division would have 12 police stations; and the Saddar Division would have 13 police stations.
Sources familiar with the development told TheNation that the chief minister consulted his senior political advisors and quarters concerned, and finally decided to turn down the summary moved by Punjab IGP Muhammad Habib-ur-Rehman.
Reportedly, political advisors told the chief minister that the only motive behind this proposal is to accommodate blue-eyed officers in Lahore Police; and that it has nothing to do with the redress of public complaints or the hunting down of gangsters, robbers, dacoits and other bandits.
Sources also confirmed that the police officers who had opposed the proposal included former Lahore CCPO Malik Ahmad Raza Tahir, Faisalabad RPO Aftab Ahmad Cheema, former Lahore SSP Chaudhry Shafique Ahmad, former Lahore DIG (Operations) Ghulam Mehmood Dogar and Sheikhupura RPO Zulfiqar Ahmed Cheema. They had opposed the plan on various departmental grounds and internal problems, including the shortage of human and financial resources. The Punjab government has earmarked Rs61.50 billion for the Punjab police department in the budget for 2012-2013, of which Rs52.64 billion have been fixed for salaries and Rs8.8 billion for other purposes.
The Welfare and Finance Wing of the Police had requested Rs64billion as permanent funds and Rs6 billion as temporary funds. Similarly, only Rs530million were earmarked for development projects against the department’s request of Rs3billion and only Rs100million were earmarked for fuel against the department’s request of Rs750million.
A senior police officer, however, affirmed that the provincial government would have to approve the proposed plan within a few years, if not now, because of the sprawling and expanding population of the Capital City.
The officer further said the alarming crime ratio, deteriorating situation of law and order, and poor information gathering network could only be improved by increasing physical strength and improving the command structure.