LAHORE – A seven-member Turkish police delegation had visited the Provincial Police Headquarters last year

to observe the workings of the Punjab police. At a meeting held at the Central Police Office, personnel from both

the sides had discussed matters of mutual cooperation, combating terrorism and evolving future strategy to deal

with crimes. During the parley when a DIG talked about the ‘Special Branch’ of the Punjab police, one of the

Turkish police officers raised his hand and said, “Special Branch, that’s interesting.”

The DIG from our side tried his level best to explain the working of the Special Branch but he failed to convince

the guest, who requested the officer that they wanted to visit the headquarters of the Special Branch, considering

it something special. Hence, the delegation visited the offices of the Special Branch in Lahore, but they were

surprised to find nothing special about the police wing, except the policemen working in plainclothes there.

The offices, equipment and working environment was similar to the other police department. The cops were

equipped with metal detectors and some were carrying wireless sets. The more the guests probed into the

workings of this ‘special police’ the greater the hosts were getting embarrassed. The Special Branch is supposed

to be an intelligence wing of the Punjab police which works parallel to the Crimes Investigations Agency or CIA

police. The CIA police are a special wing of the City police, supposed to counter organised crimes like armed

dacoities, blind and cold-blooded murders, and kidnappings for ransom. To some extent, it is also considered an

important part of the police to carryout operations against hardened criminals behind heinous crimes.

Last week, the Inspector General of Police Punjab Javed Iqbal removed SP Omar Virk, the head of the CIA

police, due to serious allegations, ranging from corruption to highhandedness, poor performance and backing the

criminals. During his tenure, the CIA police staged scores of fake police encounters killing many gangsters. The

abrupt removal of the SP became the talk of the town and many officers considered it as a strong message to the

Punjab police. In a move completely novel to the CIA, the IG Punjab has now appointed an officer from Police

Service of Pakistan to lead the CIA police in an effective manner. Perhaps, after no less than 15 years, a PSP

officer has been posted as chief of the corruption-riddled CIA police, which has become a sign of terror for the

innocent rather than the criminals.

The new man is Capt (retd) Liaqat Ali Malik, who has been assigned the crucial task to streamline the affairs of

CIA. SP Liaqat Ali Malik is widely known as an experienced crime fighter, having good repute in the police

department. During private chats with this reporter, several officers were of the view that the new CIA police

Chief during his posting as SP (Investigations) Civil Lines not only accelerated the pace of submitting challans to

the courts to get the criminals punished as per law but he also ensured merit-based investigations.

He has been selected for this position due to his extraordinary work. When the top cops assessed the

performance of the police officer serving in the town, he stood atop.

Therefore, he has been posted as Chief of the CIA police, according to many officers. They say that IGP Javed

Iqbal has great expectations from the new CIA boss. While spelling out his priorities, Liaqat Ali Malik has said

that solving major cases of heinous crimes would be his top priority. “Where there is a will there is a way. I will

find the way,” he claimed.