Court seeks govt reply in former IGP Islamabad promotion case

Aftab Cheema cleared by inquiry committee

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has given the Deputy Attorney General five days’ time to get Establishment Division’s viewpoint regarding promotion of the former Inspector General Police (IGP) of Islamabad Aftab Cheema to BPS-22. Justice Shaukat Aziz Cheema on Thursday accepted Deputy Attorney General’s request for time so that he could approach the Establishment Division and get its feedback. The court will now hear the case on March 22.
Former IGP Islamabad had moved the IHC since his promotion was withheld by the government for he was facing an inquiry. Advocate Mustafa Ramday submitted before the court that his client Aftab Cheema was exonerated from an inquiry and the government was left with no option but to promote him. He was of the view that government was using delaying tactics and denying his client his legal right of promotion to the next grade.
It may be mentioned here that last year the federal government approved promotions of some 300 officers to next grade. The officers who were moved to next grade were grade-18, 19, 20 and 21 officials. However the list did not include former IGP Islamabad Aftab Cheema, a grade-21 officer. The government left Aftab Cheema out for he was facing an inquiry for seeking three months leave during the PTI’s sit-in of 2014 and for complaining that Interior Minister Ch Nisar Ali Khan was unnecessarily interfering in his official work.
The federal government had leveled two allegations against Aftab Cheema, first as why he demanded three months leave during the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Therik sit-ins in red zone. Secondly, why he (Cheema) sent a text message to Sectary Interior Shahid Khan regarding Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan’s interference in his official work.
The federal government ordering an inquiry against him withheld his promotion to the next grade. The inquiry report, however, cleared him yet the former top cop of Islamabad was not considered for promotion. Advocate Mustafa Ramday held before the Islamabad High Court that denying his client his legal right of promotion was tantamount to depriving him of his fundamental rights.
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui made it clear that justice would be done to his client. Deputy Attorney General Raja Khalid Mehmood opposing Mustafa Ramday’s argument said if the court passes such an order it will be like opening a Pandora’s Box. He however, sought time to get the Establishment Division’s version in this regard. The court while giving him five day time adjourned hearing until March 22.

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