Federal, Sindh Govts poised for another showdown

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Sindh Cabinet approves removal of IG Kaleem Imam Levels allegations against
top cop Proposes Ghulam Qadir Thebo as new IG PTI says appointment of IG
is prerogative of Federal Government

By Shakeel Ahmed
ISLAMABAD: The Sindh cabinet on Wednesday decided to ask the establishment division to replace Sindh Inspector General of Police Dr Syed Kaleem Imam. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s leaders in Sindh, on the other hand, were quick to point out that it is the federal government that holds the power to recommend who the next Sindh IG should be and not the provincial government. Speaking to the media after the meeting, Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani said that a number of reasons for the current IG’s removal have piled up. “Today’s meeting was held after the Sindh government had written a letter to the IG on December 13 to inform him of their intention to get the establishment division involved in the matter,” Ghani said. Discussing some of the reservations the provincial government has with Imam, Ghani said: “At certain points, the Sindh IG gave some irresponsible statements regarding transfers and postings.” “Furthermore, the IG kept writing letters to various embassies directly. According to the rules, a police chief cannot directly write letters to embassies. If one has to conduct any such correspondence, it needs to happen through the foreign office or through the provincial government’s administrative body,” the minister added. Ghani also mentioned the “mishandling” of the Bisma and the Dua Mangi kidnapping cases as one of the reasons for the cabinet’s decision. “Dua Mangi’s family was not ready to cooperate with police regarding her kidnapping and once she had returned, the Sindh chief minister had to give a number of assurances in order for them to record their statement with the police.” Ghani also mentioned the Irshad Ranjhani case,“This case was mishandled by the IGP, he resisted the arrest of the police officials responsible for Ranjhani’s killing. This resulted in rioting all over the province and four people also lost their lives in Larkana.” “The IG has given several statements regarding him not being able to choose his own team. However, in reality, I can assure you that at least in Karachi, from the additional IG to any SSP, all transfers and postings have been made on his recommendation.” “I am telling you about a few of the incidents that caused the cabinet to make this decision, the list is very long,” Ghani said. He then went on to say that the Sindh government is bound to send three names for the establishment division to choose from. “And they are bound to pick one name. This is the due process, which could be simpler if provinces are given the power to conduct their own transfers and postings.” “In the past, a number of IGs have been replaced in Peshawar, Punjab and even the federal capital without any reason given, in our case, we are actually giving concrete reasons for our request. This is why, we believe there should be no problem in replacing the current police chief,” Ghani said. Asked to share the names likely to be recommended by the Sindh government, Ghani said the names of Ghulam Qadir Thebo, Mushtaq Mahar, Kamran Fazal and Sanaullah Abbasi were among the top choices. The cabinet also requested the chief minister to initiate disciplinary action against Imam by sending a detailed statement, with proof of his misconduct, to the establishment division. PTI jumps into the fray Soon after Ghani’s press conference, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leaders spoke to the media, where they stressed that they wouldn’t let the IG be removed “come what may”. Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly and PTI MPA, Firdous Shamim Naqvi, said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had also contacted Sindh Governor Imran Ismail to discuss the issue. “Honest police officers are being victimised,” said Naqvi, alleging that this was part of the PPP’s plan for pre-election rigging. “The local government elections are coming up and this is part of the pre-election rigging plan,” he claimed. Naqvi, who was flanked by PTI Sindh president Haleem Adil Sheikh and other party lawmakers, said that the rules did not allow the Sindh government to recommend any names for the post of IG. “The federal government recommends the names, not the provincial government,” he said, while waving what was presumably a copy of the law. “The Sindh govt has done what we feared it would do when the Police Act was being passed,” said Sheikh. “They want to make the police ‘aunty corruption’,” he said, accusing the provincial government of wanting to post its favoured personnel on coveted posts in the police department. Sheikh said that the provincial government must reveal the ‘compelling reasons’ they were citing, adding that “we will not let this happen.” Sindh cabinet on Wednesday approved the removal of Inspector General of Sindh (IGS) Kaleem Imam, and to appoint Ghulam Qadir Thebo as the new provincial police chief. In an emergency meeting which was presided over by Chief Minister of Sindh, Syed Murad Ali Shah, the cabinet unanimously decided to appoint Thebo as the new IG among other two names, Mustaq Meher and Kamran Fazal, which were proposed for the post. The provincial cabinet stated that Thebo is an officer of good reputation and have worked in various positions in the province. A letter will be written to the federal government regarding the appointment of new IGS. The Chief Minister expressed that he would like to keep the police separate from the politics. He asserted that the police chief should refrain from giving political statements. “Any SSP or police officer who is fond of politics would be punished,” he added. The provincial Cabinet of Sindh, keeping in view the growing incidents of kidnapping for ransom, particularly of girls, car and bike snatching, killing of innocent persons in police firing and failure of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to control the situation, has unanimously called upon the federal government to withdraw the services of the incumbent IGP and post one of the experienced senior police officers from the panel to be sent to the Centre. The single-point agenda of the cabinet meeting was held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah here on Wednesday at CM House. The chief secretary, Mumtaz Shah, all provincial cabinet members and advisors, PSCM, home secretary, secretary law attended the meeting. The cabinet at the outset observed that the Inspector General of Police has failed to control crime in the province and top of it he has violated discipline repeatedly, including making direct correspondence and direct contact with the foreign missions and embassies without prior approval of the government and the foreign office. It was pointed out that the IG police had written a letter to the chief minister to surrender the services of DIG Khadim Rind. After some time, he sent a reminder to the chief minister. When the chief minister returned the services of DIG Khadim Rind to the federal government, the IG police sent a `secret’ letter to the chief secretary and protested with him on the surrender of the DIG without his knowledge and leaked the copy of the letter to the media. “He made the position of provincial government awkward in the eyes of the people of Sindh and Pakistan,” the cabinet observed. It was also disclosed that the IG Police had recommended the name of incumbent SSP for Shikarpur. The IGP was told that the proposed SSP was totally new in the province and the Shikarpur was a sensitive district in terms of its tribal composition and feuds. Even the the SSP was posted in Shikarpur on the insistence of the SSP. The SSP Shikarpur failed to control law and order and the incident of kidnapping for ransom went on increasing day by day. When people of the district and the city started staging protests the SSP started arresting innocent in narcotics cases and one of the arrested youngers was killed by police in torture. The SSP registered a case under ATC laws against 22 villagers. A DIG inquired into the case and wrote against highhanded ness of the SSP. The cabinet also observed that instead of taking action against the SSP, the IG Police defended him and the position of the provincial government awkward again. The provincial cabinet also noted the kidnapping cases of Bisma, Dua Mangi and they were returned when their parents paid ransom. The cabinet also took the issue of Irshad Ranjhani who was shot in in public by Raheem Shah at Bhains Colony. The police instead of taking Irshad Ranjahi to hospital took him to police station in their mobile. On the way the police allowed Raheem Shah to shot him dead. The IG police instead of taking actions against the police started defending them. A s a result, four innocent Pathans of tribal area were killed in Larkana in reaction. At this the chief minister pointed out the killers of the four innocent Pathans have been arrested. The cabinet observed that the IG Police in violation of rules and regulations and the SOP of federal government was directly corresponding with foreign missions working in Karachi and Islamabad. The cabinet unanimously called upon the federal government to withdraw the services of the IG Police Dr Kaleem Imam and post one of the senior officer who has served in Sindh in his place for which the provincial cabinet recommended four names unanimously. The chief minister read out a list of 30 police officers of grade BPS -21 and BPS-22 to the cabinet to finalse a panel of three officers. The cabinet finalized the names of Ghulam Qadir Thebo, Mushtaq Maher, Sanaullah Abbasi and Kamran Fazal. The chief minister said that Sanaullah Abbasi has recently been posted as IG Police in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa even then he would request the federal government. The cabinet unanimously said that the IG Police Dr Kaleem Imam has lost the confidence of the cabinet, therefore he must be replaced. The cabinet urged the chief minister to approach the prime minister with the request to change the IG Police, Sindh as recommended by the cabinet so that law and order and over all police performance could be improved in the province.