KARACHI: In what seems to be a renewed move to humble the provincial police chief, the Sindh chief minister has sought an “explanation” from Inspector General of Police A.D. Khowaja for seeking his intervention to, what he had called, save the department from “drifting into complete maladministration”, it emerged on Tuesday.

The IGP directly addressing the chief minister through a letter was described as a “violation” of the defined rules.

Against the backdrop of undue interference of some provincial authorities in the affairs of the Sindh police, IG Khowaja in July 2017 through a letter sought CM Murad Ali Shah’s intervention to save the department from “drifting into complete maladministration”.

The IGP, who has been practically sidelined by some key functionaries of the Pakistan Peoples Party-led provincial government, apparently wanting to replace him with a pliant officer, wrote the letter to the CM in which he had pointed out various instances that not only undermined his authority but also paralysed the functioning of the police secretariat.

Secretariat asks IGP to reply to the letter ‘immediately’

However, the letter from the CM Secretariat on Tuesday called such direct communication a “violation” of the rules and sought an explanation from IG Khowaja.

“Your letter as the head of [an] attached department in terms of column 4 of Sr. No. 14 of Schedule I of Sindh Government Rules of Business, 1986 should not have been addressed directly to [the] honourable Chief Minister Sindh as it is a violation of Rule 17(i) and Rule 58 of [the] Sindh Government Rules of Business 1986,” said the secretariat’s letter to IG Khowaja.

The letter also sought “evidence” from Mr Khowaja to support his argument in which he had claimed that the Sindh government had transferred nine senior police officers — five additional IGs and four DIGs, including the Karachi police chief — and gave them new assignments without even consulting the IGP.

In his letter, the IGP had informed the CM about the reshuffle and stated that “the input of the IGP was not sought” and important staff officers forming the core team of the IGP, including AIG Operations and DIG Finance, were transferred “without any justification”. He went on to say that a number of staff officers serving in the Central Police Office (CPO) were “called by the home ministry and pressurised unnecessarily”.

The fresh letter from the CM Secretariat, however, did not buy his argument and questioned its credibility.

“A substantive evidence may kindly be furnished to this Secretariat to prove the contention that some staff officer of the CPO were called by the home ministry which led to weak command and control over subordinates,” said the CM Secretariat letter. “The government does not find it a mandatory obligation to consult the office of IGP, as it is very much within its power to decide such matters in the wider public interest.”

The CM Secretariat’s letter not only rejected all concerns raised by the Sindh IG but also questioned his points and sought his explanation on all key issues he had raised in the letter.

“Finally, the home department feels that you owe an explanation for all the observations noted above in the preceding paras. You are requested to kindly furnish your response to this Secretariat immediately,” added the letter.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2017

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