KARACHI: For the first time since the beginning of a tug of war between the provincial government and the office of the inspector general of police, IGP A.D. Khowaja appeared to speak his mind on Friday when he cited “powers” as the key issue that had brought the situation to a level where DIG traffic was appointed and retained by the government against his consent.

IGP Khowaja’s remarks about the DIG traffic’s appointment during an informal talk with journalists after the inauguration of a police reporting centre at the Ferozabad police station came more than a month after he had recommended his transfer from the post in line with the defined merit and rules, as the officer in question’s recent demotion by the federal government left him “no more eligible to hold the post of DIG”.

“The whole issue is about powers,” he briefly replied when asked by a reporter to comment on reasons behind the Sindh government’s “dislike” and then cited the appointment of DIG traffic in Karachi as an example to explain the background of the strained relations.

“Traffic in Karachi is one of the biggest challenges and a key segment of law-enforcement. But here DIG is appointed without my consent. I am an IG, not a clerk.”

There were reasons that IGP Khowaja chose to highlight this example out of many to lend strength to his stance, experts and senior officials believed. They said there was a history of his ‘disliking’ the officer, as IGP Khowaja before being sent packing had approached the provincial government to get the DIG traffic transferred. It was in the second week of March that he proposed to the provincial authorities to transfer the DIG traffic who had been demoted by the federal government. A few days later the police chief was removed but the Sindh High Court stayed his removal.

Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2017

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