KARACHI: Members of civil society have criticised the provincial government for “isolating” the Sindh police chief in its bid to politicise the police department.

Karamat Ali of the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research and Nazim F. Haji of the Citizens Against Crime and noted lawyer Faisal Siddiqui said that some recent statements of newly appointed Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal set a “worrying precedent”.

Advocate Siddiqi also sent a contempt notice to the home minister for violating a Sindh High Court order.

Mr Ali said that the inspector general of police was being deliberately isolated by the politically powerful. Terming it a dangerous trend, he said besides undermining the IG’s office it will divide an already ineffective police force.

He told Dawn: “Making the IG look like a powerless entity and to issue orders on his behalf would further divide an already ineffective police force.”

He said that the recent efforts made by the government were an “attempt to politicise the police force”.

Explaining further, he said the continuing tussle between the Sindh and federal governments over the presence of Rangers in Karachi would not have stretched for 25 years if the police were empowered, depoliticised and left to do their job.

Advocate Siddiqi said: “We feel that politicising the police force would destroy whatever autonomy is left with the police and its IG.”

He said that sabotaging the office of the IG was against the SHC’s order of restoring him to his post.

Advocate Siddiqi is also representing Piler, Orangi Pilot Project, Aquila Ismail and Mr Haji in a petition against the forced transfer of IG A.D Khowaja. On April 3, the SHC ordered that the removed IG Sindh be restored.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2017

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