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KARACHI: The police chief of Karachi, Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh, became the first casualty of the newly enacted police law on Monday when the Sindh government, after having ‘consultation’ with the inspector general of police, sacked him from the post in a mere 11 months.

Besides Dr Shaikh, the provincial government also transferred and posted around half a dozen senior police officials in an exercise of the powers it got back following the passage of the new police law, which many believe curtailed the powers of the IGP.

The outgoing city police chief has been posted as the Additional IG-Operations, while Ghulam Nabi Memon, a BPS-21 officer of the Police Service of Pakistan, has been posted as the new chief of Karachi police in his place.

Consultation?

Sources familiar with the development told Dawn that Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah called IGP Dr Kaleem Imam at the CM House on Monday. Sindh Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah was also present in the meeting.

Addl. IG Ghulam Nabi Memon has been appointed as the new head of city police

They said that the CM informed the IGP that the provincial government had decided to transfer the incumbent Karachi police chief and some other officials.

As the IGP argued against the decision, the sources said that the provincial chief executive told him that the ‘consultation’ — as required under the new law — had been completed and he was moving forward.

After the ‘consultation’, the chief secretary issued a notification transferring Dr Shaikh and appointing Addl. IG Memon as the new Karachi police chief.

Sources in the CM House said that the chief minister was not ‘satisfied’ with the performance of Dr Shaikh because of certain incidents that occurred in the city as well as a surge in street crimes.

‘CM unhappy with outgoing police chief’

But, sources close to the outgoing city police chief said that there was no issue of deteriorating law and order in the metropolis. Instead, CM Shah was ‘unhappy’ with him as he was not ‘obliging’ the Pakistan Peoples Party leadership’s demands at micro level, they said.

The sources said that about two months ago the CM had asked Dr Shaikh to transfer four SHOs, including those of the Clifton and Gizri police stations.

They said that the city police chief earned the CM’s ire when he expressed his inability to do so on the grounds that any SHO could only be removed on the recommendations of the SSP concerned.

The sources said that the CM was so angry with Dr Shaikh that he asked the IGP to remove and surrender his services to the federal government. But, the IGP told the CM that he would not do that since there were no charges against him.

However, the axe finally fell on Dr Shaikh, who remained the Karachi police chief for only 11 months. His predecessor, Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar, had served in the same capacity for more than three years.

According to sources, new city police chief Memon enjoys a “good reputation” and experience, but he would wear police uniform after a gap of eight years since he had served in the Intelligence Bureau in Sindh and later was transferred to the Pakistan High Commission in London.

He served in London for three years and was recently promoted to grade-21.

Meanwhile, the provincial government also transferred Addl. IG-Hyderabad Ghulam Sarwar Jamali and posted Addl. IG-Special Branch Dr Waliullah Dal in his place.

Another grade-21 officer, Imran Yaqub Minhas, has been appointed as Addl. IG-Special Branch.

Farhat Ali Junejo has been posted as DIG-Special Branch, Karachi, against an existing vacancy.

The provincial government appointed Qamar-uz-Zaman as DIG-Traffic, Licensing and Training, Karachi against an existing vacancy.

Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2019