KARACHI: A fresh tussle between the Sindh police and the provincial government appears to be brewing as the top police authorities have finally spoken up against the role of the administration in recent transfers and postings of senior officers. They said such moves were “affecting the police working” and creating “environment of uncertainty”, and “urged” the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government to “respect” the law and let the provincial police chief play his role in all decisions related to transfers and postings, it emerged on Thursday.
In a letter to the provincial chief secretary, Sindh IG Dr Syed Kaleem Imam spoke frankly on the controversies that emerged last month after the Sindh government removed SSP-East Ghulam Azfar Mahesar from his post on charges of “serious misconduct” and asked the chief secretary to surrender his services to the federal government. This month again, the PPP government made the same moves for additional IG (establishment) Khadim Hussain Rind and Shikarpur SSP Dr Rizwan Ahmed.
“Renewing our utmost respect, I urge to respect the spirit of the judgements and the law and let this office play its due role in all decisions related to transfer and postings of the police officers serving in the province,” wrote IG Dr Imam to the Sindh chief secretary after referring to a number of moves by the provincial government which had not only violated the set rules of business but also defied apex court orders.
‘Sindh govt decisions demoralised the police force and undermined the IG office command’
“I may also draw your attention to the judgement of the Honourable High Court of Sindh wherein, the Honourable Court in its judgement date 7th September 2017, at paras 101 (h) and 101 (i) ruled that the Inspector General must have independent control over insofar as postings and transfers are concerned, thus putting an end to all of external influence. Subsequently the Honourable Supreme Court upheld the judgment and ruled that, ‘on the foregoing analysis, we affirm the impugned judgement by the learned High Court in particular with reference to the autonomy of command and independence of operation of the police force.”
Apart from the defiance of court orders, the IG police’s letter also mentioned the situation and sentiments created in the force by the Sindh government and said that the “sudden and unplanned” surrender of officers came as a surprise and had not only affected the police working but had also created an “environment of uncertainty” in the ranks. The Sindh government decisions, he said, had also demoralised the police force and had undermined the command of the IG office.
The letter from the Sindh IG also carried a few facts, which he mentioned as “ironic” and suggested that the Sindh government moves were not about exercising administrative powers or making regular decisions, but were more about setting a precedent for the future.
“Ironically, I, despite being head of the police department, came to know about these transfers through media reports. Unfortunately, this has happened at a time when this office was making sincere efforts to avoid frequent transfers and provide a reasonable tenure to the officers serving on different fields and staff assignments,” said Dr Imam.
Published in Dawn, December 13th, 2019