An investigation report by Shikarpur senior superintendent of police (SSP) Dr Muhammad Rizwan Ahmed Khan has accused PPP lawmaker and Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh of patronising criminals and using them for political and financial gains, it emerged on Thursday.
The report comes in the backdrop of the Sindh government’s decision to replace the provincial police chief, IG Dr Kaleem Imam, citing "compelling reasons".
Earlier, on December 6, the Sindh government had also tried to transfer SSP Dr Rizwan to the establishment division, saying his services were no longer required. Subsequently, the SSP had approached the Sindh High Court against the move, which suspended the notification.
Meanwhile, Dr Rizwan had also taken the matter to the newly-created Provincial Public Safety and Police Complaints Commission, saying he was “surprisingly surrendered from province of Sindh without any prior notice, complaint or inquiry”.
At the time, the IG had written a letter to the Sindh chief secretary, complaining about not being informed of the decision in advance and raising concern that such moves "demoralised the police".
Dr Rizwan is also a member of the joint investigation team as well as the investigating officer (IO) in the Naqeebullah Mehsud murder case, which is pending before an antiterrorism court, where he is representing the state.
The SSP's report, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, accuses Sheikh of using "his criminal wing against his political opponents and for creating his fear in society", adding that “his men” also killed the son of a political opponent, Shah Nawaz Brohi.
According to the report, which is marked ‘secret’ and addressed to the deputy inspector general of the district, “Sheikh has un-satiable hunger of his control over police [and] constantly pressurises the SSP of the district for posting his loyal police personnel who then leak secret information to him.”
“Furthermore, Imtiaz Sheikh interferes in postings, transfers of police personnel on key posts, such as SHOs, and continuously exerts pressure on the undersigned for posting of police personnel for gaining their loyalty,” it adds.
As proof of his allegations, the SSP has also attached cellular record data of the energy minister, his secretary, son and others close to him, highlighting the number of times they have contacted "wanted" criminals, such as Atto Sheikh, who have dozens of cases registered against them.
“Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh MPA has a gang of criminals who reside in and sell drugs from Chingi Muqam in the jurisdiction of PS New Faugdari, district Shikarpur. Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh, his brother Maqbool Ahmed Sheikh and his son Faraz Ahmed Sheikh have private guards who are proclaimed offenders and recorded criminals,” the report states.
Sindh govt responds
Asked about the report during a press conference on Thursday, the Sindh government’s spokesperson, Barrister Murtaza Wahab, questioned why a "secret" report was being circulated in the media. “Their job is police, not politicking,” said Wahab.
With regards to the contents of the report, Wahab defended the energy minister by saying that the latter had on multiple occasions complained about the concerned SSP to the IG in cabinet meetings. “The SP is working on vested interests,” Wahab quoted Sheikh as having told the IG in a cabinet meeting.
Addressing a press conference in Karachi later in the evening, Sheikh rejected the contents of the report, saying they were “based on lies”. “Who is stopping him from arresting the criminals? He is scared of going to their areas,” said Sheikh.
The energy minister added that the only reason the report was issued was because he had pointed out the SSP’s mistakes.