Punjab police in the dock for demanding bribe from KP CM

PESHAWAR: A shameful incident appears to have exposed the truth about Punjab police, after the armoured vehicle in which the Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak and three of his ministers were travelling to Peshawar without any protocol and security last week was stopped in Lahore, and policemen at the scene demanded money for their ‘langar,’ because the car had tinted glasses. They refused to believe that such a high level delegation could be travelling without the relevant security detail. But after the dignitaries refused to pay up and complained, the Punjab government has appointed a superintendent of police (SP) to probe the incident. 

The News reports that KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak along with Senior Minister Shahram Tarakai, Minister for Education, Muhammad Atif Khan and Information Minister Shah Farman were travelling in the armoured vehicle of the chief minister without any protocol and security last week when they were stopped by the Punjab Police while on their way back to Peshawar at around 11:30pm.

As policeman stopped the car for having tinted glasses near the Motorway, Muhammad Atif in the driving seat introduced himself as well as the chief minister and his two cabinet colleagues seated in the rear seat.

“The cops were not going to believe that a chief minister and his three ministers can travel without any security. We were later asked to give money for their ‘langar,’ said Senior Minister Shahram Tarakai. He said they refused to pay and resumed their journey towards Peshawar.

When asked why there was no security car escorting them, Tarakai said they were all commoners and wanted to travel without any protocol. “We are from the people and that is why we travel like others do,” said the senior minister, who is also chief of the Swabi-based Awami Jamhoori Ittehad Pakistan.

Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Operations Punjab, Waqas Nazir, said the SP of the area, Maroof Wahla, has been appointed as the inquiry officer of the case. He added that all the CCTV records of the event have been summoned.

“The security officer of the Punjab chief minister contacted the concerned officials in KP after the incident. We have ordered an inquiry and those involved in the incident are being sorted out,” Waqas Nazir told The News.

The incident gained a lot of currency on social media, after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan posted several tweets about the incident, lauding the chief minister and his team for travelling like commoners

However, once the incident became public, many lauded the chief minister for travelling to Lahore without any protocol, but others also raised questions about how the chief executive of the province could refuse security while travelling in a single vehicle along with three ministers, especially because several leaders from the region have been targeted by suicide bombers in the past. 

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