ISLAMABAD - Balochistan, which has been facing insurgency for the last many years, does not apparently look on the priority list of the incumbent government, as it is reluctant to send a fresh badge of police officers there to meet security needs of the province.

“Violating its own policy, the federal government is neither looking serious nor willing to send fresh Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) officers in Balochistan, replacing those whose two-year tenure already completed,” official sources in the Establishment Division informed. The miseries of PSP officers have increased as they are struggling from pillar to post to come back from Balochistan but no one is ready to hear them.

At a time when PML-N-led federal government is struggling hard to implement the National Action Plan (NAP) to counter terrorism after December 16 terrorism attack on school in Peshawar, it does not giving much focus to improve law and order situation in Balochistan that is severely hit by ethnic as well as sectarian violence and insurgency during the last more than a decade.

Some of the police officers that have completed their time period of two years include grade 21 officer Ahsan Mehboob Additional IG (HQ), Iftikharul Haq, DIG Sibbi has been ordered but not relieved for want of replacement, Arif Nawaz, Commandant Balochistan Constabulary, Qamar ul-Hasan, DIG Naseer Abad, Fasihuddin Khan, DIG, Rasheed Mehboob, Deputy Commandant PTC Quetta, Sharif Zafar, grade 19 officer and Commandant PTC Quetta has been ordered but not relieved for want of replacement, Sabir Ali Kayani, DIG (Head Quarter), Dr Mujeeb ur Rehman, DIG Special Branch and Abbas Traer a grade 19 police officer. Another PSP Dr Suleman has been posted again for the second term as he had went abroad for a year.

There is a long list of police officers that have completed their two-year service in Balochistan and waiting their transfer or replacements for the last some months. According to sources, even the government also deducted that period from two years tenure of some officers who had gone to promotion courses like Senior Management Course (SMC) and (National Management Course (NMC). These officers have even passed this extra time period in Balochistan and now the government still has not transferred them back.

The last PPP-led federal government under the directions of Supreme Court had devised a policy that PSP officers should be sent to Balochistan for a period of two years and then consequently replaced with the fresh ones. The issue came in the lime light when Supreme Court was hearing a suo motu case on the bad law and order situation of Balochistan and the Balochistan government had told the apex court that it was facing shortage of police officers as no one was ready to serve in the province. The provincial government told the court that those officers who had been transferred to Balochistan were not even willing to go there. SC in its September 4, 2012 order said that on whatever reason who so ever is transferred too Balochistan, he should be immediately relieved for the province.

Then federal government while devising the policy to over come shortage of police officers in Balochistan had said that every police would serve there for a period of two years and he would be given salary and perks and privileges of one scale up than his existing basic pay scale. It also said that upon completion of the tenure, such officers would either be given posting in their home province or given posting of their own choice and during posting in Balochistan, they along with their family members would be given three air tickets in a year to visit their hometowns.

However, the policy of giving one grade up salary was implemented in some cases and for others not.

Then federal government had transferred a number of PSPs in June 2012, September 2012 and so on for a period of two years. Many of them resisted to go to Balochistan and Establishment Division initiated action against them. As the period of two years had completed last year, the government is reluctant to replace them apparently due to political pressures. A police officer who is serving in Balochistan wishing not be named while talking to The Nation said that Dr Ahmed Mubeen was the only police officer who managed to get transferred back from Balochistan before completion of his two years term. “Some of us have been transferred from Balochistan but the provincial government is not relieving us demanding replacement from the Establishment Division,” he said.

An official of Establishment Division said that replacement of four PSPs from KP have recently been sent to Balochistan that include Abdul Waheed, Mohammad Iqbal, Sajid Mohmand and Farooq -e-Azam while two from Punjab Mr Jamshed and Dr Suleman have also been sent to Balochistan.

During this time period, the federal government held two selection board meetings and promoted officers from grade 18 to 19. A source said that the then Secretary Establishment Division has said that fresh police officers would be sent to Balochistan who have been newly promoted. But this never happened. Former IGP Balochistan Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera at that time had also written to the federal government, asking that the policy of two years must be implemented and fresh blood should be sent to Balochistan. Another police officer serving in Balochistan said that some officers having political affiliations have recently managed to transfer back to their home provinces. He said the Establishment Division was silent on the issue due to political pressures as no police officer was willing to serve in the insurgency-hit province.

Joint Secretary (Admin) Establishment Division Dr Masood Chauhdry was contacted for his comments but he refused to give his comments on the issue, saying neither he was dealing with this policy nor was authorised to speak on such issues. An SMS was sent to Secretary Establishment Nadeem Hasan Asif on his cell number to have his version but he did not respond till the filing of this story.