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KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet on Wednesday endorsed a decision to remove Inspector General of Police A.D. Khowaja and appoint Additional IG Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti as acting police chief in his place.

The cabinet took up the issue of Mr Khowaja’s transfer because the Sindh High Court, while reversing a March 31 order through which the provincial government had surrendered the services of the IG to the federal government and appointed Mr Dasti as acting IG, ruled that all government powers could only be exercised through the cabinet.

Advocate General for Sindh Zameer Ghumro briefed the cabinet about the SHC order and said that the bench had observed that the cabinet did not approve the decision with regard to IG Khowaja and Mr Dasti.

A government spokesman said that the requirement for removing IG Khowaja had been complied with and the cabinet endorsed the decision of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah.

Civil society organisations had approached the SHC against the removal of IG Khowaja and for reforms in the police department.

A division bench of the SHC comprising Justices Munib Akhtar and Arshad Hussain Khan had asked AG Ghumro under which law Khowaja had been removed from his post. The AG replied that the IG had been appointed under Clause 3 of the Police Act, and that the Sindh government had the right to appoint an IG of its own choosing.

However, he was silent when asked if the provincial cabinet had been taken into confidence before the notification for IG Khowaja’s removal was issued. Reminding him that all governmental powers could only be exercised through the cabinet, the bench had stayed the removal of Mr Khowaja and restrained Mr Dasti from further continuing with the additional charge as IG.

The stay order remains in place till April 6 (today).

Published in Dawn, April 6th, 2017