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Punjab

Chief minister asserts role in transfers

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LAHORE:

Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi asserted on Wednesday that no officer would be repatriated from the province without the permission of his government.

Presiding over a police conference, he said the provincial government had the constitutional power to retain the officers in public interest. He said he would enhance the residential facilities for the officers in the GOR.

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The size of the big houses in. the colony will be reduced and apartments will be built as many residences are spread over eight kanals.

The chief minister highlighted that with the construction of apartments with a modern design would help cater to the residential needs of the officers.

The chief minister disclosed that the government would set up 150 police patrolling posts and the force in the rural areas would be granted a special salary package.

He said bunkers would be constructed in the rural areas. “We will provide bullet-proof and vehicles with trackers in addition to providing support and relief to the police,” he added.

The chief minister said the people should be given speedy justice in the police station. It is the duty of the police to redress the grievances of every applicant visiting the police station without any discrimination.

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Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi highlighted that a change on the police culture could be claimed only when the perception of a common citizen regarding the department changed.

He asserted that the need for the citizens to visit the police stations repeatedly for redressing their grievances and lodging FIRs should not arise.

Read Elahi censures PML-N for ‘stopping’ public projects

The chief minister said the first information report (FIR) should be strong as per law and the investigation process should be improved and made effective so that criminals should not escape punishment.

He said the police officials holding law degrees would be appointed as investigation officers as losing a case by due to weak investigation caused embarrassment.

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The CM stated that the patrolling force had been set up for assisting Punjab police, adding that other issues related to the police would also be resolved.

The chief minister said three copies of the FIRs should be sent to the CM Monitoring Cell and the deputy inspector general (DIG) and senior superintendent of police (SSP) for monitoring.

He said  it was the duty of the police to serve the applicants and they should see a clear difference in the police station now.

The chief minister said the government was reviewing a proposal to set up a force consisting of retired army commandos for the rural areas.

He paid tribute to the police for maintaining law and order during Muharram. He said he had monitored the law and order arrangements on the Chehlum.

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He appreciated the Rahim Yar Khan and Rajanpur district police officers for taking effective action against criminal elements and gangs.

Home Minister Hashim Dogar said a proposal to give houses to the police officials on lenient conditions would be reviewed. Inspector General of Police Faisal Shahkar

said the CM was taking effective steps for the welfare of the police. He assured the CM that the police would leave no stone unturned to protect the lives and property of the people.

The South Punjab additional IG also spoke. The police officers shared proposals for the improvement of law and order in the province.

Former federal minister Moonis Elahi also participated in the conference.

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Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2022.



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Punjab

Dept turns blind eye to rare birds poaching

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LAHORE:

The hunting of rare species of falcons and quails peaked in the province, due to the negligence of the Punjab wildlife authorities. A large number of falcons and quails were hunted in different districts of the province during the last month.

Punjab wildlife officials said over 100 hunters were arrested and fined over hunting rare birds during the past week. Hunting rare wild birds reached a peak in Punjab due to the inattention of Secretary Forests and Wildlife and Director General Punjab Wildlife. Allegedly, people are secretly hunting rare species of falcons and quails in many areas, sometimes with the connivance of wildlife staff.

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Around 123 hunters were arrested and fined millions of rupees for hunting falcons, wild quails and wild pigeons during the last week, but the number of sport hunters is growing. Most hunting of rare species took place in Salt Range, Sargodha, Rajanpur, Bahawalnagar, Bhakkar, Pakpattan, Okara and Muzaffargarh. According to sources, hunters are slapped with small fines, but fines alone cannot address the rapidly declining numbers of wild birds.

A former director of wildlife department said during September and October, falcons and other migratory birds arrive in Pakistan. He added that falcons are rare and precious birds and their price is determined by the breed, size and health. A female falcon costs more than a male and the price of varies between Rs10,000 and Rs10 million.

He further disclosed that staff only catch the hunter as a formality and fine them a small amount. Falcon hunters have a strong network, which includes poachers, dealers, smugglers and people from the department itself. On the other hand, the officials said that action is being taken across the province against those who hunt wild birds, on the instructions of the secretary of forests and wildlife. If any employee of the department is involved in illegal hunting, action will be taken against them. According to the authorities, poachers can be fined and punished as per the Wildlife Act.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2022.



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Punjab

CCPO Dogar’s position hangs in the balance

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LAHORE:

The government of Punjab, other than a verbal affirmation, has not taken a formal decision regarding the retention of Additional IG (AIG) Ghulam Mehmood Dogar, a grade 21 officer, in his position as the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO).

Earlier this week, the federal government transferred Dogar from the post and asked him to report to the Establishment Division. According to reports, the federal government, led by Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), was frustrated with him over the registration of a case under anti-terrorism charges against two of its leaders, Javed Latif and Maryam Aurangzeb.

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Punjab Home Minister Hashim Dogar made the claim before the media.

As Dogar’s transfer orders were reported through the media, Hashim Dogar asked the AIG to continue serving as CCPO pending further orders. Chief Minister Punjab Pervaiz Elahi termed the orders unlawful and refused to comply by them.

The next day, the CM held a meeting with senior officers of Punjab and ordered them to remain at their positions, pending permission from the Government of Punjab.

The CM, in an exclusive meeting with Dogar, reportedly assured him that they will not let him be transferred and had also praised him and his services.

However, to retain his position, the provincial government reportedly had not taken any formal action so far, nor had it sent in writing to the Establishment or Services and General Administration Department Punjab anything in regards to Dogar’s position.

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As per the departmental regulations, being a PSP officer ie a federal government employee, Dogar was mandated to report to the Establishment Division within a week. If he failed to do this, he may be issued a show-cause notice explaining his actions. Failure to respond could lead to a suspension.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2022.



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Punjab

Schools heads to pay for poor results

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LAHORE:

The Punjab School Education Department has decided to take action against the heads of schools showing poor performance in the recently announced matriculation results.

The department has reportedly given the last warning to the headmasters and headmistresses to submit their schools’ results. The chief executive officers (CEO) of all district education authorities have also been instructed to submit the data pertaining to the results.

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According to school education department officials, thousands of students across Punjab showed poor performance in the annual results and the school heads and district education authority CEOs responsible would face action under the Punjab Employees Efficiency, Discipline and Accountability (PEEDA) Act.

On the other hand, CEOs appear to be hesitant to submit the data of performance of schools in their districts to the department.

An official said there was a shortage of around 100,000 schoolteachers in the province, which was the main cause of the poor results.

The officials of the education department said while speaking to The Express Tribune that about 30% of schools in Punjab had shown poor results in the matriculation examinations. They said the department wanted to compile the performance data of the school heads of each district.

“An instruction was sent to the education authority CEOs of all districts of Punjab to submit their data to the department. However, the CEOs ignored the department’s instruction.

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Now the department has issued a last warning to the CEOs concerned in all districts to submit the performance data so that action may be initiated against all headmasters, headmistresses and CEOs whose results are unsatisfactory,” said a senior official of the school education department.

“The department will take strict action against all school heads whose students’ success rate was less than 10%. The action will be taken under the PEEDA Act,” he added. The official said personal hearings would be held to ascertain the reasons of the poor results.

“We asked the CEOs two weeks ago to send us the names of all headmasters whose schools’ result is poor, but they appear to be protecting the educationists who may face action as they did not send us the names,” he said.

A headmaster, Muhammd Farooq, alleged that the provincial government and school education department were trying to cover up their own poor performance by taking action against teachers.

“There is a shortage of around 100,000 schoolteachers in Punjab but we have to continue the academic activities. A large number of schools in the province do not have science teachers. This is affecting the performance of students from poor families as there is a trend of private tuition in most districts and the students are left at the mercy of private academies to pass their exams. But there are thousands of students whose families cannot afford private coaching,” he said.

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He said the teachers could not do much amid the circumstances where staff shortage and in adequate infrastructure, including labs and school buildings are directly affecting the annual examination results. Farooq said the government should resolve these issues before taking action against the headmasters.

Punjab Teachers Union secretary general Rana Liaqat Ali said it was very difficult to show good results amid a shortage of 100,000 teachers.

The school headmasters and the whole teaching community is struggling hard to give a bright future to the students but our genuine issues should be addressed.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2022.



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