Amid uncertainty over the future of his post, Sindh's police chief Dr Syed Kaleem Imam on Tuesday said that he would not be transferred from his position so easily, adding that a "big conspiracy" was being staged against him.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Sindh Police Martyrs Memorial at Central Police Office (CPO) in Karachi, the Sindh police chief said: "The impression being created is that I have been transferred and this ceremony has been transformed into a transfer ceremony.
"I would like to say that I will not be transferred that easily."
The Sindh inspector general said that when he does go, it will not be a transfer — in fact "it will be a new evolution". "I will transcend on to new stages," he added.
"This event has been changed into a farewell ceremony. Maybe Sindh Police are trying to save money for my farewell address if I am ever transferred; if I go, my worth will not diminish, don't worry," he said.
Following the police chief's address, Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani while talking to DawnNewsTV rejected the allegations of a conspiracy being hatched, adding that it was Imam who had initiated conspiracies against the Sindh government.
He said transferring of police personnel is a routine matter but in Sindh, despite the cabinet giving detailed reasons for Imam's removal, he insists on staying.
"There is no deadlock between Sindh and the Centre over the matter and we are expecting that the IGP will be removed today," Ghani said, adding that whenever they wanted to remove a senior police official in Sindh, it turned into a problem.
"He has been colluding with opposition in Sindh and planting baseless news reports regarding Sindh cabinet members in the media," said Sindh's information minister.
IG Imam and Ghani's comments come a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan not only cancelled his scheduled visit to the CPO but also gave a “positive gesture” to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s request for replacing Imam.
The prime minister and provincial chief minister met at the Governor House and after their meeting many believed that the weeks-long rift between the Centre and the province had almost come to an end and chances that Imam would continue to hold the office of the IGP had become bleak.
The shift in the federal government’s stance comes after Islamabad had categorically told the Sindh government that it would not unilaterally repatriate or transfer IG Imam.
The establishment division in a letter to the Sindh chief secretary had stated that giving charge of the inspector general of police (IGP) to an additional IG would not be compatible with a 1993 agreement between the federal government and federating units.
Earlier, the Sindh government in its January 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 January 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".
Meanwhile, the Sindh High Court on January 20 ordered for Imam to not be removed from his post until the federal government replies to the provincial government on the matter.
Sources privy to Monday's development had said that they had reasons to believe that the Centre and the province had almost resolved the issue.
The prime minister did not only "hear the arguments from Chief Minister Shah for a change in the police command" but also agreed with them to a large extent. The Sindh governor also supported Shah’s case, the sources had said.
"So, most likely the new IG Sindh would be appointed from the three names — Ghulam Qadir Thebo, Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar and Dr Kamran Fazal — proposed by the provincial government," said a source.
"CM Shah was of the view that any hurdles from the Centre or from other segments of the state to the administrative issues of the province would not only create problems for the working machinery of the whole province but also shake the confidence of the provincial government. The prime minister was supportive of Shah’s views and results of such an understanding may lead to a few decisions soon," the source had said.