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Major shuffle in police ranks amidst new tensions between Sindh govt, police

Updated July 15, 2019

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IG Sindh Dr Syed Kaleem Imam speaks to the media in this file photo as outgoing Karachi police chief Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh (first from left) looks on. Photo: DawnNewsTV/File
IG Sindh Dr Syed Kaleem Imam speaks to the media in this file photo as outgoing Karachi police chief Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh (first from left) looks on. Photo: DawnNewsTV/File

The Karachi police chief, Additional IG (AIG) Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh, was on Monday transferred amidst a major reshuffle in the police department after the recently enacted Police Law 2019, which has transferred administrative powers back to the PPP-led provincial government after curtailing the powers of the provincial police chief.

Dr Shaikh (BS-21) has now been posted as AIG Operations against an existing vacancy, according to a notification issued by the chief secretary Sindh's office.

He has been replaced by Ghulam Nabi Memon (BS-21) for the important slot.

Sources familiar with the development told Dawn that IG Sindh Dr Syed Kaleem Imam was summoned by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to Chief Minister’s House on Monday for a meeting in which Chief Secretary Sindh Mumtaz Ali Shah was also present.

After a ‘consultation’, the provincial government decided to transfer the Karachi police chief as well as other officers.

The sources said that Dr Shaikh has become the first 'casualty’ of the recently passed police law, which empowers the provincial government to transfer and post police officers in ‘consultation’ with the IG Sindh.

They said that the chief minister had been ‘unhappy’ with the outgoing city police chief as he reportedly did not 'entertain' all demands of the PPP leadership.

However, sources at CM House claimed that the chief minister had not been satisfied with the performance of Dr Shaikh due to certain 'incidents' in the city and because street crimes had not registered a decrease.

Sources closed to the outgoing city police chief believe there is no issue of deteriorating law and order problem in the metropolis. Instead, they contended that Dr Shaikh had been not been ‘obliging’ the PPP leadership’s demands at a ‘micro level.’

They revealed that around two months ago, to their "utter surprise", the chief minister had asked Dr Sheikh to transfer four Station House Officers (SHOs), including the heads of the Clifton and Gizri police stations. They claimed that the chief minister had expressed his displeasure when the city police chief argued that the SHOs were being removed on the ‘recommendations’ of the concerned senior superintendents of police (SSPs).

The sources said that the CM was so unhappy with Dr Shaikh that he asked the IG to surrender his (Dr Shaikh's) services to the federal government. However, IG Dr Imam had not complied, arguing that there were no reasonable grounds of dismissal against Dr Shaikh.

They said that new city police chief, Ghulam Nabi Memon enjoys a good reputation and has experience, but complained that the transfer of Dr Shaikh was premature as he had served only 11 months.

They also noted that Memon will be taking up policing duties after a gap of eight years. He had served in the Intelligence Bureau in Sindh and was later transferred to the Pakistan High Commission in London, where he served three years. He was recently promoted to Grade-21 and had his services placed with the Sindh government.

According to a notification issued by the Chief Secretary's Office, AIG Hyderabad Ghulam Sarwar Jamali has also been transferred and directed to report to the Services Department Sindh. He has been replaced by existing AIG Special Branch Dr. Waliullah Dal.

In Dr Dal's place, Imran Yaqub Minhas, who was recently promoted to Grade-21, has been appointed AIG Special Branch.

Another officer, Farhat Ali Junejo, who had been awaiting posting, has been posted as the DIG Special Branch Karachi against an existing vacancy. Likewise, Qamaruz Zaman has been appointed DIG Traffic, Licensing and Training, Karachi against an existing vacancy.

Meanwhile, the chief minister’s spokesperson, Abdul Rasheed Channa, told Dawn that the changes were ‘routine’ transfers/postings of police officers.