KARACHI: The long-strained relations between the Sindh police and political administration are likely to get fixed as new Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar took charge on Monday and vowed to “bridge the gap between the two sides through positive and professional approach” while emphasising basic policing.
The officer of BPS-22 of Police Service of Pakistan has assumed the charge of the office of Sindh Inspector General of Police in a first-ever change of command ceremony held at the Central Police Office, according to an official spokesman. The officers of the CPO bid farewell to Dr Kaleem Imam, who relinquished the charge, and welcomed the new officer.
After taking charge, the new Sindh IG called on Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah at CM House, said a statement. The chief minister assured the new IGP that his government would be giving him full support in maintenance of law and order.
“The police have rendered lot of sacrifices in the line of duty to restore law and order in the province,” said Mr Shah.
IG Mahar assured the chief minister that he would be working with dedication for restoration of law and order.
After weeks of wrangling, a patch-up emerged between the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)-led government at the Centre and the PPP government in Sindh as the former accepted the latter’s demand and decided to appoint Mr Mahar as the new police chief in the province.
Former IG Imam, who had locked horns with the Sindh government, has been transferred and appointed as IG of National Highways and Motorway Police. The removal of Mr Imam was a long-standing demand of the PPP as he was reportedly not on good terms with the Sindh government. When the provincial government made a move to replace him two months ago, Mr Imam called on Prime Minister Imran Khan and the meeting gave an impression that he was being backed by the Centre.
Mr Mahar, who has rich experience of policing in Sindh while serving as Karachi police chief and leading anti-terror wing of the agency, sounded firm and clear about his future approach.
“It would be filled I believe with positive and professional approach,” he replied to Dawn when asked about the fate of the widened gap between the political administration and the law enforcement agency over the last few years.
“My emphasis would be on basics of policing. Things would settle down once we focus on control of crime rate and addressing the common man’s grievances. Things would improve I believe and the force would give its 100 per cent when it comes to law enforcement and writ of the state,” he said.
Published in Dawn, March 3rd, 2020