KARACHI: With the reassuming of the portfolio as home minister by Sohail Anwar Siyal, new challenges are being faced by the provincial government.
This situation emerged when the home minister called a meeting on Thursday to apprise himself of the law and order situation in the province and issue guidelines to the police for taking measures for peace during Ramazan. However, not only Inspector General of Police A.D. Khowaja but even the deputy inspectors general of three zones — Sultan Khwaja, Muneer Shaikh and Azad Khan and AIG Zulfiqar Larik — did not turn up.
Earlier, according to reports, the IGP had issued instructions to the officials asking them not to attend the meeting called by the home minister without his permission. Only seven of the police officials invited to the meeting attended it.
The meeting, presided over by Home Minister Siyal, was attended by Additional IG Sindh Traffic, CTD and Special Branch, the DIGs of Hyderabad, Sukkur, Shaheed Benazirabad and Larkana. In the meeting, the security issues in the coming fasting month and emergency planning for traffic management were discussed. The DIGs present at the meeting briefed the home minister on the security measures taken in their respective areas.
After the meeting, talking to the media the minister said that the IGP had restrained the officials from attending the meeting saying that out of station officials should seek permission from him. The minister said that many of the officials were in Karachi as such they needed no permission.
He said the IGP himself was under the minister and when he used to go abroad he used to take permission from the home secretary, who was also his subordinate. He said the IGP’s stopping the officials from attending the meeting was “a childish act’. He said the IGP was an officer of grade 20 or 21 and he could summon him whenever he liked.
In reply to a question, the home minister said he would strive to improve law and order with the assistance of the home department, police and other law enforcement institutions.
In reply to another question, the home minister said that before IGP Khowaja assumed charge, the law and order situation was far better than it was now.
He said that recruitment in police on merit was made as per a decision of the apex committee when the minister had the home ministry portfolio.
Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2017