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When Prime Minister Sharif pointedly asked the Sindh chief minister how police could discharge its duty fairly when it has such a large number of political appointees, Mr Shah agreed that in the past political appointments were made in the police department, but contested the figures.  — Photo by INP
When Prime Minister Sharif pointedly asked the Sindh chief minister how police could discharge its duty fairly when it has such a large number of political appointees, Mr Shah agreed that in the past political appointments were made in the police department, but contested the figures. — Photo by INP

ISLAMABAD: The issue of thousands of political appointments made in Sindh police since 2002 prominently figured at the meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired last week in Karachi, which decided to launch a targeted operation led by Rangers in the metropolis against criminals.

Based on documentary evidence collected and presented by the federal intelligence agencies, the meeting was told that during the governments — one led by the PML-Q and the other by PPP — well over 10,000 appointments were made in the provincial police department.

From 2002 to 2007, the Sindh home department remained under the control of MQM. But after the 2008 elections, the PPP kept the department with it.

Following this year’s general elections, when the PPP and MQM decided not to join hands in Sindh, they publicly accused each other of stuffing the Sindh police department with their loyalists, which became one of the major causes of bad law and order situation in the city.

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon, who is also deputy information secretary of the PPP, said it was under retired General Pervez Musharraf when the PML-Q and MQM ruled the province that countless political appointments were made in the police department.

He claimed that the PPP always followed the process for inductions in the police department.

But Zahid Mehmood, a member of the central executive committee of the MQM, accused the PPP of appointing its favourites in the Sindh police department.

Mr Mehmood, who is also a member of the MQM’s central information committee, said it was on record that former Sindh home minister Zulfiqar Mirza inducted in the police department about 2,000 PPP workers, who were known criminals from Lyari.

The issue is not only of political appointments, but the established criminal records of those now wearing police uniform, the meeting was briefed by the intelligence officials.

When the issue came under discussion, Prime Minister Sharif was flabbergasted.

“They are safely in the thousands and when the information was presented during the meeting, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah had no plausible explanation,” a senior government official who attended the meeting told Dawn.

The meeting was also told that the PPP government had deputed several people in the police department from other provincial departments for no valid reasons.

When Prime Minister Sharif pointedly asked the Sindh chief minister how police could discharge its duty fairly when it has such a large number of political appointees, Mr Shah agreed that in the past political appointments were made in the police department, but contested the figures.

A federal minister told Dawn that after the meeting it was decided that the Sindh government would prepare its own list of police personnel having political connections and who were involved in criminal activities.

Mr Sharif asked the chief minister to take strict action against these officials if his government wanted to bring normality back to Karachi.

Security officials unequivocally told the prime minister that in the presence of such a large number of police personnel who instead of their seniors take orders from their political masters, no operation could produce lasting results.

Later, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan at a press conference said that the only way to move forward was to prosecute and punish some of the Sindh police officials involved in criminal activities in Karachi so that the rest of them could learn lessons.

The meeting also decided to make merit-based recruitments of some 10,000 personnel in the Sindh police department, for whom

the federal government would provide additional resources to the provincial government.

The federal government has asked the Sindh government to take a decision about the future of political appointees.

The meeting suggested creation of a separate pool for political appointees who have no criminal history.

Comments (30) Closed

ali Sep 12, 2013 06:29am

The PM now knows that the SINDH government is in a mess with a very old fashioned chief minister at the helm of affairs.

Khwaja Aftab Shah Sep 12, 2013 07:02am

Pakistan has around 144 districts and every district has 4/5 so called political families / local feudal lords. One can check their historical background, doesn't matter if the present generation is educated or little sophisticated. Since independence these families are in power except short period of ZA Bhutto with little participation of middle class. Majority seats in Parliament are from Rural areas and Urban area politicians have the same feudal attitude. Most of these feudal run parallel government in whole district (in tehsils & villages) controlling police and revenue (thana & Kacheri). Even the justice department is also influenced by them in one way or the other by dictation to lawyers and judges.This elite ruling class is corrupt, cruel, law beaker and criminal in many cases. Nothing will change in Pakistan as long as the Development Funds are being distributed among the elected elite. Politics is the highest profitable business of few hundred people in the country.

Najamuddin Sep 12, 2013 07:27am

According to several previous reports during each regime there been political appointments in law enforcing agencies from higher cadre to lower rank. Some of them being head to toes corrupt and criminal? They come from each parties ruling Sind since long time? Many of them directly or indirectly involved in Land Qabza mafia, Bhatta and kidnapping Mafias as per the reports. Without purging the Police and other agencies from such people and without bringing to justice their political patrons and protectors how can one expect to restore rule of law, peace and protection to the long suffering citizens of Karachi? How can such criminals and corrupts could carry out effective operation against their own people?

mujahid Sep 12, 2013 08:25am

why is MNS surprised on the appointments made in Sind doesn't he knows how many police ppl were appointed in MSS govt for the last over 5-years.Just get hold of RSUK (Rana Sanaullah Khan) & get the details without informing the public.How DUMB one could be that he is not aware probably he lacks in his team.

pakiboy Sep 12, 2013 08:32am

sirf sindh police ki fikar kyun hay .. zara punjab police par bhi nazar daal lain ..apnay bhi bohat milain gay !!

MM Sep 12, 2013 09:09am

So the PML's PM will provide "resources" for additional police recruitment. In that case, PML will have its loyalists in the police take its orders. Mr. PM, please clean up the current mess first.

shahid Kinnare Sep 12, 2013 09:26am

I do not understand how Pakistan has time to bring now issues in lime light. In America every police person is political appointment some time they are elected to their post as Republican or Democrat.

Ashfaq Sep 12, 2013 09:25am

Well! no one pays attention to the actual causes. The creation of Pakistan itself. Imagine what Mr. Nabeel Gabol said last night in the program "Captial Talk" at GEO NEWS. He truthbusted and no one really paid attention to it. I believe no one will ever notice that. No media, the courts, no government and not even the armed forces of the land. What he said"Nadeem Hashmey ko to arrest kiya lekin do gali door aik target killer ko naheen pakra." When Hamid Mir, the host, asked who is he then as per Mr. Gabol "he is a target killer who kills by taking money" . Just imagine. In the same progromme but in one of the earlier episode a few weeks ago a member of national assemble belonging to MQM while talking about taking a democratic right of agitation and said that MQM has the power and the only option to completely jam Karachi city, business hub. Then no one noticed.

No one notices now! Cheers!

salman Sep 12, 2013 09:34am

Ridiculous !!!

Malik Sep 12, 2013 09:58am

Sindh needs Governer Rule, with operation already in progress. We are already seeing the political motivated issues........To get result oriented clean up in Karachi neither MQM nor PPP should have any thing to do with it, Let DG Rangers report to the Interior Minister directly. That might bring some result.

khanm Sep 12, 2013 10:15am

The body language of Nawaz Shrief suggests that he is so up set, so angry, so shocked

zaheer gorsi Sep 12, 2013 10:16am

As if these political appointments in Sindh are any different than what Mian Sahib did by stuffing Punjab Police and land Revenue department with sons and nephews of then ruling elite as police inspectors and Naib Tehsildars. The point should not sound shocking or disturbing to us Pakistanies in general and to Mian Sahib in particular.

KhanChengezKhan Sep 12, 2013 11:09am

A key leader of PPP has been appointed as supervisor or team leader of operational process in Sind and especially in Karachi is completely un-wise, unfair and stupidity. Can any body expect that the Team Leader will take any action against his own PPP workers if anyone is involved in criminal activities? Similarly if the Team Leader appointed from PML(n), PML(q), MQM, PTI or else will never take any serious action of the criminals related from their own party. Nawaz Sharif has pointed out that thousands of PPP workers have been appointed politically and illegally, where some of them have deep routes from criminal gangs, by the PPP Chief Ministers, Ministers and some higher authorities in Police Department and therefore these High ranking police officers are being used against the PPP's opposition parties

Napier Mole Sep 12, 2013 11:12am

The so called expression of shock only goes to prove that the PML government is clueless about handling of the national issues and had done no serious homework in the run up to elections. In any case, the presence of so many political appointees in the police set up, whether by MQM or PPP, once again highlights the need for setting up and strengthening institutions who work in open and transparent manner. The public safety commission and other police related measures proposed during Musharraf era provided such safeguards.

The recent operation in Karachi where law and order is planned to be tackled through ad hoc measures point toward the lack of belief of PML government in improving institutions. Other measures such as extension of quota system also provide a continuation of the same disregard for meritocracy which has become the hallmark of all government institutions.

AJ Sep 12, 2013 11:38am

Exchange them with officers from internal Sindh

YOUSUF HUSSAIN Sep 12, 2013 11:41am

Every person have the political affilation wheather in police,army,Navy,Air force and the establishment,when they have the right of vote its means that they are supporting some political party how can you denay the fact,every person have the political affilation its means that they will not get the Job,duty is the resposiblity where as affilation is not the reponsibility,we should have some training,some procedures that would apply to each and every officer,

Javaid DR Sep 12, 2013 11:42am

What about punjab police. Has Shabaz Shareef not appointed those who were relatives of PML members of parliment.?

AHMAD Sep 12, 2013 12:20pm

I will suggest that Police should also be like army which have no Political influence. It should be directly answerable to Federal Government.

Tahir Naseer Sep 12, 2013 12:33pm

Gen. Musharraf seems to have become a scapegoat for all.

Akram Sep 12, 2013 01:01pm

the extent of corruption and nepotism never fails to amaze me.

a-jay Sep 12, 2013 01:39pm

Stop accusing each others. Best would be to get rid of them without getting into court proceedings where a "stay" is the most favourable action by the culprits and the courts favour such game as well. Post these police officers on secondment to Balochistan and KPK provinces. These so called policemen would refuse or leave. Disobedience would make them weak leagally.

Reader Sep 12, 2013 02:03pm

Why is the PM so naive about political appointments in govt organisations? Previous PM's Raja's son-in-law appointed at world bank and promoted quickly. Investigations will reveal that this corrupt behaviour is widespread within governmental institutions and on will be adopted by the new govt. This is another reason why corrupt behaviour is stopping pakistan to develop for the furture.

Sohrab Sep 12, 2013 05:39pm

Pot calling the kettle black. I am sure there are no partisan/political appointees in police in the Punjab. They are all the same. Give the people a break.

ASGHAR MAHMOOD Sep 12, 2013 06:21pm

Bureaucracy including the Police has been completely politicised in Pakistan. During the authoritarian rule of Gen Parvez Musharraf, age old principle of seniority cum fitness was bypassed to promote favourite officers. Shaukat Aziz introduced a novel concept, Best of the Best (BOB), to dump professional officers with integrity. Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif is requested to set up a National Commission to review promotions in the higher bureaucracy during the last decade. This would be his greatest service to Pakistan.

B!lal Sep 12, 2013 07:20pm

' Surprized Nawaz' really ? What do you think Shahbaz sharif has been doing for the last so many years in Punjab. This is not a Sindh problem but a nationwide issue. Make police independent, train them better, pay them better, give them power and stand by them. Simple !

Syed Rizvi Sep 12, 2013 09:38pm

There must be employment only based on merit. No political affiliations whatsoever. Follow the international hiring police system, learn from Iran and other countries that how they can bring peace in cities because they have it.

khan Sep 13, 2013 06:17am

@AHMAD: Army will not like it,I think.

Alam Sep 13, 2013 07:48am

Not only in Police, but also in other Govt Departments, like education and judiciary for instance, political workers and favourites have been inducted by political parties. These people then have to help their masters in time of need, like General Elections 2013. These people are only loyal to their masters not to Pakistan.

Ali ahmed Sep 14, 2013 10:34am

Let provincial government do operation for 2 months. If no substantial results are found, interior minister should take charge of operation with DG rangers and IG police Sindh. But this will require a political will because it will be strongly opposed by stake holders of Karachi.

Aftab Kenneth Wilson Sep 15, 2013 01:06am

Every government including PML-N also appointed their own cronies when they were in government. Anyhow this should now stop and those who were recruited or inducted must be removed. Political parties have to oblige their favorites but should avoid planting them in Police and other sensitive institutions. Right now even political appointees are very much in our judiciary at all levels.