KARACHI: Inspector General of Police Dr Kaleem Imam chaired a high-level meeting at his office on Saturday after the federal government categorically told the Sindh government that it would not unilaterally repatriate or transfer the police chief.

The establishment division in a letter to the Sindh chief secretary stated that giving charge of the IGP to an additional IG would not be compatible with an agreement dated 1993 between the federal government and federating units.

The Sindh government in its Jan 16 letter to the establishment secretary had stated that “till the time a new IGP is posted, the government of Sindh will assign look-after charge of the post of IGP to an additional IGP (BS-21) currently working in the province.”

However, in response to the province’s letter, the federal government in its letter dated Jan 17 pointed out that “the look-after charge of the post of IGP Sindh cannot be assigned to any additional IGP of police working in the province being not covered under the inter-provincial agreement of 1993”.

Establishment division says the issue of recall of IGP is being taken up with PM; Kaleem Imam chairs meeting at CPO

It stated that in case the competent authority decided to transfer Dr Kaleem Imam, a stop-gap arrangement can only be made by the competent authority, which meant the federal government.

The establishment division stated in the letter that the transfer-posting of an IGP was made by the federal government in ‘consultation’ with the provincial government concerned in accordance with the procedure prescribed in para-II (iv) of the Inter-Provincial Agreement reached between the centre and federating units on Sept 19, 1993.

“The issue of recall of IGP Sindh and posting of his replacement as requested by the Sindh govt is being taken up with the competent authority.”

It said that the decision to this effect, once reached, would be communicated to the Sindh government. “In the meantime, the incumbent IGP Sindh, Dr Kaleem Imam shall continue to discharge his duties as unilateral repatriation of the provincial police chief and look-after charge of the post cannot be assigned to any Add. IGP by the province in accordance with the procedure (concerned).”

IGP’s meeting

Following the letter, the IGP chaired the meeting at the Central Police Office, which was attended by the city police chief, DIGs and SSPs. Other additional IGs, DIGs and SSPs posted across the province also attended the meeting through video link, said a police spokesperson. At the start of the meeting, the participants offered fateha for two policemen recently martyred in the city.

The IGP observed that 28 policemen were martyred in 2019 and two policemen sacrificed their lives in the first month of 2020.

He pointed out that most of them were young and recently recruited on merit and they were motivated.

23pc increase in cases due to ‘free FIR policy’

He appreciated the police performance for effectively curbing crimes and maintaining peace and observed that the rate of street crimes had been reduced by seven per cent.

Because of perceived effective steps and impartial policing, Karachi’s number in the International Crime Index had come to 88 from six in 2013, he added.

He believed that the number of FIRs had increased because of his policy to allow ‘free’ registration of FIRs. The police also took action against those who lodged ‘false’ FIRs and at least 89 such persons were punished by the courts after police initiated legal proceedings against them, he said.

He informed the participants that the purpose of encouraging the people to get their FIRs registered was to assess the crime patterns and bring the culprits to justice.

The IG vowed that the police would further improve the situation in Karachi and other parts of the province and address all challenges on a priority basis.

The AIG Operations in his briefing stated that there was 23pc increase in the registration of FIRs.

The meeting was told that “hardened terrorists” Abdullah Brohi and Hafeez Pandrani allegedly involved in several suicide blasts in Jacobabad, Shikarpur and Sehwan were “neutralised”.

Key issues

The meeting was also informed about “key inadequacies” of the police department.

It was told that under the new police law, a notification was yet to be issued for making the IGP the ex-officio secretary and principal accounting officer of the department.

Other key issues pertain to non-issuance of a notification for “reallocation of police stations” and not granting title of land of many police station buildings, owing to which funds could not be utilised for the repair of the same.

It was pointed out that action on reports sent against senior police officers was still pending with the provincial government.

Besides, no purchase of arms and ammunition and vehicles took place during the last financial year because of lack of funds.

Funds were also not provided for clearance of liabilities created due to the last year’s cut in police budget, the meeting was told.

Other major issues were stated to be lack of implementation on the safe city project, trial of street criminals through model courts, allotment of 300 acres in Surjani Town for families of martyred policemen and establishment of a forensic science agency.

The participants noted with concern that there were more than 48 annual development schemes pending with the Sindh government. These ADP schemes pertained to constructions of police stations, police lines, branches for police personnel of training centres, investigation complexes and highway posts.

It was also stated that since the last few years, the operational budget of the Sindh police was constantly on the decline.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2020