Murree tragedy: Buzdar removes top officers

Our Correspondent
Thursday, Jan 20, 2022

LAHORE/RAWALPINDI: Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar On Wednesday removed of Rawalpindi commissioner, deputy commissioner and 13 other officers in connection with the Murree tragedy that resulted in the death of at least 23 tourists.

The decision was taken after a five-member inquiry committee into the Murree incident presented its investigation report to the Punjab chief minister.

The inquiry report revealed that relevant officials failed to fulfill their duties. Rawalpindi commissioner, deputy commissioner, Murree assistant commissioner, Rawalpindi city police officer (CPO), Murree assistant superintendent of police (ASP), Rawalpindi chief traffic officer (CTO), Rawalpindi traffic DSP, Rawalpindi SE Highways circle II, Rawalpindi XEN highways, Murree SDO highways mechanical, Murree Divisional forest officer, Murree Rescue 1122 in charge, Murree district emergency officer and Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Punjab director have been removed immediately, and disciplinary action has been recommended against them. Addressing a press conference in Lahore, CM Buzdar said, “I promised the nation action against those responsible for Murree tragedy and I fulfilled my promise.”

The CM said in the press conference,” action is being taken by removing 15 officers from their posts in the light of recommendations of the inquiry committee. He said Rawalpindi commissioner has been removed from his post and sent to the federal government. Rawalpindi DC is also removed and his services have been handed over to the federal government. It has been recommended to suspend him and disciplinary action be taken against him, he stated.

Murree assistant commissioner has been suspended and disciplinary action has been ordered against him, he added. ASP Murree has been removed from his post and his services have also been handed over to the federal government, he further said. It has been recommended to suspend him and disciplinary action be taken against him. CTO Rawalpindi, DSP Traffic, SE Highways Circle-2 Rawalpindi, XEN Highways Rawalpindi, XEN Highway Mechanical Rawalpindi, SDO Highway Mechanical Murree, Divisional Forest Officer Murree, District Emergency Officer Murree, Incharge Murree Rescue 1122 and Director PDMA Punjab have also been suspended and disciplinary action has been ordered against them, he added. Chief Minister Usman Bazdar said, “The tragedy that took place in Murree was sad and extremely painful by all aspects”. Provincial Law Minister Raja Muhammad Basharat and SACM Hasaan Khawar were also present.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Shahid Khaqab Abbasi said that merely suspending the officials will not bring forth any concrete result and said truth should be told to the nation regarding the Murree tragedy. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who served as MNA from the region of Murree as well as Kahuta in 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2008 and 2013 elections while talking to The News said that the suspension of the officials by the Punjab chief minister was not enough and instead of deceiving the nation, facts must be brought to surface. “What if the officials are suspended today, they would restore to function tomorrow, main thing is to bring actual facts to the surface” said the former PM. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi stated that every year, a plan was devised to deal with any emergency situation in Murree. “How could you fix responsibility on the officials when you have not provided funds to run the machinery,” asked the former prime minister. He said the Punjab government was responsible for the killings of innocent people as it failed to take the required measures.