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murree tragedy: commissioners, CPO among 15 officials of punjab govt suspended for negligence in handling murree crisis

Punjab chief minister said the government has fulfilled its promise of taking action against officials responsible for Murree tragedy

ISLAMABAD: The Punjab government has suspended 15 officials, including commissioner of Rawalpindi for their negligence in Murree tragedy.

The provincial government had taken this action on the report of a committee which has identified gross negligence, lack of coordination and team work as well as risk assessment as the reasons that caused deaths of stranded tourists in Murree on Jan 8. A total of 23 tourists lost their lives in the freezing snowstorm in Murree.

Soon after the tragedy, Punjab government formed a five-member committee, headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Zafar Nasrullah. A four-volume inquiry report as well as a shorter version was presented to the chief minister on Jan 19 (Wednesday) as a result of which the CM of Punjab said that the complete chain of command of Rawalpindi division failed to perform its duties.

Chief Minister said that keeping in view the recommendations of the inquiry committee, 15 officials have been suspended and disciplinary action was being taken against them.

The suspended officials are: Rawalpindi Commissioner Gulzar Husain Shah, Deputy Commissioner Muhammad Ali, Murree Assistant Commissioner Umer Maqbool, Rawalpindi City Police Officer Sajid Kiyani and Murree Assistant Superintendent of Police Ahmad Shah. Their services have been surrendered to the federal government on administrative grounds with recommendation of a strict disciplinary action against them.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government has also announced the suspension of and disciplinary action against the Rawalpindi chief traffic officer, traffic deputy superintendent of police, Rawalpindi highways circle-II sub-engineer, Rawalpindi executive engineer (EXEN), highways (mechanical) EXEN, highways (mechanical) sub-divisional officer, Murree divisional forest officer, Murree district emergency officer, Murree Rescue 1122 in-charge and Punjab PDMA director.

The Punjab government has a new Rawalpindi commissioner, DC and CPO to replace the officers transferred on administrative grounds. Youth Affairs and Sports Secretary Noorul Amin Mengal was posted as the commissioner in his own pay and scale; Sialkot DC retired Flt Lt Tahir Farooq as the Rawalpindi DC; and Rawalpindi Regional Police Officer Ashfaq Ahmad Khan has been assigned the additional charge of the CPO till the posting of a regular incumbent.

Javed Mahmood
Written By

I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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