The federal government, in response to a letter by the Sindh government seeking removal of the provincial police chief, has said Dr Kaleem Imam will continue as the Sindh Inspector General of Police till the "competent authority" reaches a decision on the matter, it emerged on Saturday.
On Wednesday, after a meeting of the Sindh cabinet, Provincial Minister for Information Saeed Ghani told the media that a decision to move the establishment division for Imam's removal had been made. The next day, the provincial government wrote to the Centre regarding the police chief's repatriation listing "compelling reasons" for the transfer.
In a responding letter dated January 17, the government's establishment division said that the issue of repatriation of IGP Imam and the posting of his replacement, as requested by the Sindh government, is being taken up by the relevant authority and once a decision is reached on the issue, it will be shared with the provincial government.
The letter, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, said Imam will "continue to discharge his duties", adding that the "look after charge of the post cannot be assigned to any additional inspector general of police by the province." It is pertinent to mention here that one of the three names put forward by Sindh to replace IGP Imam is that of Dr Kamran Fazal, who is a grade-21 officer presently heading the Counter-Terrorism Department as its additional IG.
"In case, the competent authority decides to transfer Dr Kaleem Iman (PSP/BS-21), PPO/IGP Sindh, a stop gap arrangement on any basis can only be made by the competent authority," the letter read.
Names suggested for new IGP
It emerged on Friday that the Sindh government had approached the Centre with names of three senior police officers, asking it to appoint one of them as the new inspector general of police.
An official familiar with this development told Dawn that Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had sent a letter to the Prime Minister's Office on Thursday evening in which he proposed the names of Ghulam Qadir Thebo, Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar and Dr Kamran Fazal for consideration.
Meanwhile, private news channels reported that the federal government had reservations over the three candidates.
They said that the federal government was considering names of Additional IG Motorway Police Dr Aftab Pathan, former Sindh IG AD Khowaja and former Karachi police chief Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh for the top job.
According to the police law, an IGP could be appointed after consultations between the federal government and the government of the said province.
Section 12(2) of the Sindh (Repeal of the Police Act, 1961 and Revival of Police Order, 2002) (Amendment) Act, 2019 reads: "The provincial government or the federal government may for ‘compelling reasons,’ in consultation with each other, repatriate, or recall, the inspector general of police, as the case may be."