The unconventional tug of war between the Inspector General Sindh (IGP) A. D. Khawaja and the provincial government deepened on Thursday as the recently reappointed Sindh Home Minister Suhail Anwar Siyal termed the recent orders, issued by the IGP, as "childish".
The minister said this while addressing a press conference, following a meeting of police officers convened by him.
A day earlier, Khawaja had directed all police officers to inform the headquarters in advance before leaving their police station or area of supervision for attending any security meeting [convened by the provincial government].
The Wednesday's statement, quoting spokesperson of Sindh Police, said that the IGP did not refrain any officer from participating in any security meeting as the "interests of masses and protection of their lives and possession is very important to him".
On Thursday, the home minister directed the police officials to defy those orders. He said, "If this was a rule then why the IGP left Karachi for Islamabad last night without informing the secretary of Home Department."
A fuming Siyal went on to say that Khawaja was only an officer of grade 20, and more than 20 officers of the same grade were working under his authority. "Khawaja is a subordinate of my subordinates," he maintained.
"IGP works under my authority, I will summon him wherever I would feel the need," he said while responding to a question.
He further said that some people took credit of recruiting police personnel on merit, however, the matter of fact is that the provincial apex committed had decided to recruit policemen on merit.
In a separate media talk on the same day, the minister said that IG was a grade 20 officer who received salary and perks from the Sindh government. "If he hatches a conspiracy against the government, people of Sindh will foil his designs," DawnNews quoted Siyal as saying.
He added that a departmental disciplinary action would be taken against Khawaja, had he left Karachi without informing his superior authority.
When approached, Khawaja told Dawn.com that he does not want to comment on the development as the matter of his appointment is sub judice.
It was not the first time when the provincial government expressed its displeasure over the IGP. Amid much speculations of his removal, the IGP was sent on a 15-days leave in December, last year.
However, the federal government has refused to remove the IG from his position, the sources had informed Dawn.
Additional Inspector General Mushtaq Meher had also been appointed acting IG Sindh immediately.
The Sindh High Court had restrained the Sindh government from sending the provincial IGP on leave.
Subsequently, Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah had said it is the prerogative of the provincial government to make relevant postings and transfers, keeping in mind the betterment of the province.
In another attempt to remove Khawaja from his post, the provincial government had surrendered his services to the federal government. Later the Sindh High Court had suspended the notification issued by the Sindh government for the removal of the IGP.
At that point, A.D. Khawaja had stated that he held no grudges against the provincial government over his “attempted” removal from the post and since the matter was pending before the court now, so he can’t further comment on the issue.
Meanwhile, the Sindh Cabinet gave its nod for the removal of the IGP. The approval for surrendering the services of the IGP to the federal government came during a cabinet meeting chaired by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.
Currently, A.D. Khawaja has been serving as IGP, Sindh through extension of an interim order, issued by the Sindh High Court.