‘Rogue elements’ behind Bahawalnagar hype

In Local
April 14, 2024



LAHORE:

Punjab Inspector General Dr Usman Anwar on Saturday vehemently dispelled the impression of low spirits within the Punjab police ranks following the Bahawalnagar debacle, asserting that “anti-national elements” were stirring the pot to leverage the incident to spin false narratives on social media.

In a video message, the Punjab police chief said “outlawed groups” were stoking flames on social media to sow seeds of doubt about the unity between the institutions while trying to give an impression of institutional conflict.

He stressed that the morale of the Punjab police served as the bedrock “of our fight against terrorists, thieves, and robbers”.

He asserted that despite attempts to create discord between institutions, both the army and the police authorities had swiftly collaborated in the wake of the incident with the RPO Bahawalpur and the local army command promptly visiting the area.

The IG decried also the misrepresentation of past incidents to stoke discontent among Punjab Police personnel and said that the Bahawalnagar incident came about due to procedural lapses rather than systemic failures.

“The incident occurred due to non-following of the SOPs of the Special Initiative Police Stations. Both institutions visited the immediate area together.”

“The outlawed organisation is trying to create an impression that God forbid we will no longer go after the enemy,” he stated. “Videos of some old incidents were also shown out of context to spread frustration among the Punjab police personnel.”

“Meetings were convened and the issue was harmoniously resolved, resonating with chants of ‘Pakistan Zindabad,’ ‘Pakistan Army,’ and ‘Punjab Police Zindabad’.”

IG Punjab underscored that, according to the ISPR statement, a collaborative investigative inquiry has been instituted, adding that adherence to legal protocols throughout the process will be ensured.
Furthermore, he said that the Punjab government has constituted an inquiry committee comprising representatives from the armed forces, Punjab police, and civil authorities. This committee aims to look into the individual actions leading to the incident and ascertain accountability.

Expressing dismay over attempts to fracture the “familial bond between Punjab Police leadership and the military force”, the police chief reaffirmed the unwavering dedication of the Punjab police in combating criminal elements.

He asserted that the police force, in tandem with other security agencies, remains steadfast in its mission to safeguard Pakistan by eliminating terrorist threats and criminal activities.

Emphasising resilience against social media criticism and propaganda, IG Punjab urged the force to ignore the backlash and remain focused on their duty of protecting the nation.

Highlighting past successes in countering threats across various regions, he reiterated the department’s commitment to personnel welfare, including promotions, modern training, housing provisions, and legal assistance.

He also reiterated the police force’s solemn pledge to serve and protect the country with unwavering dedication.

Earlier, ISPR announced the initiation of a joint inquiry involving police and security personnel, aimed at ensuring transparency and identifying those responsible for legal violations.
 

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