At least 18 massive reshuffles of senior police officers have been made by Punjab government in past three years.
The instances do not include days when, the numbers of officers transferred was not in double digits.
However, the frequency of the reshuffles is becoming predictable with major transfers and postings ordered six times each in 2019, 2020 as well as 2021.
Eight deputy inspectors general (DIGs), including the DIG operations of Lahore and RPOs of Multan and Sahiwal, were transferred recently.
Commenting on the situation, former IG Kamaluddin Tipu criticised the governance model based on frequent change of command in the police and bureaucracy.
“Even an SHO needs time to understand his staff, area and nature of prevalent crimes and devise a strategy accordingly,” he said.
By the time an officer started understanding his job, he was transferred, Tipu maintained.
Under the Police Order 2002, an officer commanding a police establishment has to come up with an annual policing plan. “With such a fast pace of transfers from posts, you cannot expect such mindfulness from them,” he added.
“I smell corruption and bad governance behind these moves,” he said.
On the other hand, former additional IG Sarmad Saeed termed the pace of transfers routine.
“This has been going on since long regardless of the government. I have even served at a post for 20 days,” he said. “There is nothing unusual in it,” he added.
Of the six major reshuffles made this year, the first was ordered on January 29 when 15 SPs were transferred.
On June 2, at least 20 senior officers, including district police officers (DPOs) and chief traffic officer and SSP investigations of Lahore were transferred.
In first week of November, the government transferred as many as 30 police officers, including two DIGs, the CCPO of Lahore, some RPOs and DPOs after their failure to stop the TLP march.
In last week of November, several DIGs were transferred from Punjab. The transfers were made under the Rotation Policy introduced last year.
In the year 2020 also, the police top brass faced as six major reshuffles, including seven DIGs transferred on December 4.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2021.