In a bid to not let the province's set security protocols be affected by the Supreme Court's orders, the Sindh government on Saturday added several new categories to the list of personnel entitled to police security.
Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar on Thursday had directed the inspectors general of police of the four provinces and Islamabad to immediately withdraw security provided to unauthorised persons.
Subsequently, Sindh Inspector General Police A.D Khowaja had ordered the immediate withdrawal of security protocol provided to influential individuals not entitled to official security.
Police sources told Dawn that more than 5,000 police guards had been withdrawn when the home department on Saturday issued a new notification, adding at least 10 more categories to the list of personnel entitled to security, effectively countering the chief justice's orders.
The three-page notification, which was issued on Saturday but backdated to April 5, stated that "10 more categories of personnel face life threats and are in need of protection."
According to the notification, the new categories include prominent leaders of political parties, senators, MNAs, MPAs, prominent religious leaders, prominent businessmen and tax payers, prominent social workers, lawyers and professionals, media persons, police officers, civil servants, judges, judicial officers, witnesses of very high profile anti-terrorism cases and any other person or class of persons that the government or court having jurisdiction considers necessary in public interest.
Previously, only president and former presidents; prime minister and former prime ministers; Senate chairman, National Assembly speaker, speakers of provincial assemblies; chief minister and visiting chief ministers; governor and visiting governors; provincial and federal ministers; judges of apex courts and lower courts; chief secretary, home secretary, secretary to the CM, secretary to the governor, commissioners, deputy commissioners and senior police officers of the rank of SP were entitled to security.
The notification further states that the home department may, from time to time and after reasonable assessment of threat, issue instructions to the IGP Sindh to provide security to the persons mentioned in the said 10 categories until the instructions are revoked or modified.
“Upon issuance of such instructions, the IG police shall immediately provide the required security to the concerned persons,” the notification adds.