KARACHI: Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani on Friday fired a broadside against “a dominant group in the Sindh police” saying it was acting as a political party aligned with the opposition.

“It seems the Sindh police are following in the footsteps of the NAB [National Accountability Bureau] by targeting those who criticise them,” he told a press conference.

He expressed his concerns over the activities of “a group of police officers” who “are briefing the opposition parties; visiting lawyers along with the opposition leaders; and are leaking such reports to the media”.

“For any government, such activities by civil servants are extremely concerning.

“The Sindh police have turned into a political party itself and IGP has become its leader. If they are eager to act like this, then they should leave the civil service and say whatever they want to say. Else, they should change their attitude,” he said. “This IGP Sindh has become controversial already.”

Saeed Ghani accuses SSP Rizwan of falsely implicating him in criminal activities two years ago

He made it clear that there was no difference between the federal and the provincial government on the change of IGP in Sindh as consultation between the two governments was on as per the law.

However, he said, still Sindh was discriminated against and accorded a “step-motherly” attitude whenever it wanted to change the police chief.

Slams SSP-Shikarpur for ‘false reports’

 He criticised SSP-Shikarpur Dr Rizwan Ahmed Khan for “falsely charging him and his brother Farhan in criminal activities” and alleged he was himself protecting drug dealers when he was SP in Jamshed Town.

Mr Ghani spoke to the media two days after a police report, prepared by SSP Khan, accused Sindh Energy Minister Imtiaz Sheikh of “patronising criminals and using them for political and financial gains”.

He claimed that the same officer had prepared a false report against him two years ago when the minister and his brother had complained against the growing incidence of drug business in his constituency in Chanesar Goth and adjoining neighbourhoods.

He said he had contacted senior police officials then after painstaking efforts and informed them of the scourge of drugs in his area after which a drive against those involved was initiated.

“During that campaign the police deliberately arrested those who had nothing to do with the issue only to force the people to get the action stopped,” he alleged.

He said during SSP Khan’s tenure, Faisal Lodhi quit the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and joined the PPP but he became a victim of extrajudicial killing.

“The then SP tried to force my younger brother to pay for motorcycles for police and construction of a police kiosk in addition to becoming an informer for the police. My brother refused to succumb to those demands,” he said.

He said upon his insistence an inquiry was initiated into the killing of Lodhi, but it was shelved silently.

 Asks CM to initiate probe against him and SSP

 He said everyone knew that about nine individuals and their gangs were involved in the drug trade in Chanesar Goth, yet SSP Khan’s report skipped the names of half of them.

He said he was sure that the report, authored by the SSP-Shikarpur, was prepared a day after the meeting of the Sindh cabinet in which it decided to remove Inspector General of Police Kaleem Imam.

Minister Ghani demanded that Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah initiate an inquiry against him by a panel comprising credible officers. “I will leave politics and will present myself for punishment if such allegations against me are proven to be true.”

In the same breath, he demanded an inquiry against the SSP-Shikarpur to know “what he has done along with his cronies”.

He said during a by-election in his constituency a couple of years ago the same police officer had picked up those who supported him during the election.

Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2020