Amjad Javed Saleemi who had been appointed as Inspector General of Police (IGP) Punjab last week, took charge of his post on Monday. He was presented a guard of honour on his arrival at the IG office in Lahore. Saleemi’s appointment was announced by the Establishment Division last week but he could not assume charge as the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) suspended the notification since it came days before Sunday’s by-polls. According to ECP rules, the government is not allowed to make new appointments or transfer any government official before elections. Saleemi, who replaced Muhammad Tahir, is Punjab’s second IGP in two months. He was previously serving as the commandant of National Police Academy. Talking to the media after assuming charge, Saleemi said that he meant to work with senior police officers, including Nasir Durrani formerly head of police reforms commission to introduce reforms in Punjab police. “He has resigned from the commission but he is still a senior police officer,” said the police chief. “We will ask him for advice whenever it is needed.” The sudden appointment of Saleemi as Punjab’s police chief stirred controversy which was fueled by Nasir Durrani’s immediate resignation from his position. Police officers close to him said that Durrani appeared upset in the wake of the news about Muhammad Tahir’s departure from IG office. Tahir’s removal is said to have come about after a growing realisation in the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf circles that he was unable to carry out the task required of him by the rulers during the tone-setting period of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government. Saleemi, in his media talk vowed that he will work hard in order to improve the performance of the police. He admitted that there was corruption in the police department but promised to root it out by strengthening the internal accountability system. The IGP observed that First Information Reports (FIR) of many crimes were not registered as the process was complicated. “We have to improve. I will ensure all FIRs are lodged even though it would seem like crime in the province has grown,” he said. Saleemi further said that at least 10 percent of his police force will be in training institutes so that they can perform better. He said leading a force of 190,000 was like leading the world’s biggest police force, but he was ready to face the challenge. Saleemi joined police department as assistant superintendent of police on November 1, 1986. He served as DPO Gujranwala and Mianwali and also performed his duties in Bosnia under Unites Nations’ peace mission. He was also posted as DPO Sahiwal and Sialkot and has also served as deputy inspector general investigation and capital city police officer Quetta. Published in Daily Times, October 16th 2018.