Police officials can be seen standing in a line. — PPI/File

'Strong response': Twitter lauds collective leave applications by top Sindh Police officials after Safdar's arrest

More than a dozen police officials have sought leave to "come out of […] shock" caused by events surrounding Safdar's arrest.
Published October 20, 2020

A day after PML-N leader retired Captain Mohammad Safdar was arrested and subsequently released on bail in Karachi, more than a dozen police officials applied for leave in order to "come out of […] shock" caused by the "recent episode of registration of FIR against Capt (R) Safdar".

At the time this piece was filed, at least two additional inspectors general, seven deputy inspectors general, six senior superintendents and three station house officers of Sindh Police had submitted identical leave applications to Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Mahar, saying the "recent episode of registration of FIR against Capt (R) Safdar in which police high command has not only been ridiculed and mishandled, but all ranks of Sindh police have been demoralised and shocked".

The development took everyone by surprise including journalists and members of civil society, many of whom took to Twitter to express their opinions and raise further questions.

'Strong response'

Former Dawn editor Abbas Nasir, while sharing a copy of an application submitted by Sindh Special Branch Additional Inspector General Imran Yaqoob, declared that the Sindh Police was "fed up with khalai makhlooq (aliens) meddling".

He added that "many more such decisions are being contemplated". Khalai makhlooq is a term the opposition uses to refer to the establishment.

Journalist and anchorperson Asma Shirazi termed the development as a "very strong response" from the Sindh Police.

Journalist Talat Hussain, in one tweet, lauded the police officials who had collectively applied for leaves, saying "honourable men who care about integrity and understand the real meaning of dignity do the honourable thing. Sindh police top core shows how to do this."

Govts making police carry burden

Lawyer and activist Jibran Nasir criticised the federal and Sindh governments, run by PTI and PPP respectively, for "making police carry their burden".

"Out of fear of one institution all others are being destroyed," Nasir said in a tweet.

Anchorperson Zarrar Khuhro, while referring to the opposition's allegations that the Sindh police chief was kidnapped and forced to register an first information report against PML-N leaders, including Safdar, said: "Any doubts remaining now as to the story about IG being picked up? A ridiculous state of affairs."

In another tweet, journalist Talat Hussain said going on leaves was "the least he (IGP) could do to protest" after yesterday's events. It is pertinent to mention that by the time this piece was filed, it had not been officially confirmed that the IGP had applied for leave.

"What a terrible state of affairs. What destruction of institutions," tweeted Hussain.

'Will CJP take suo motu?'

Journalist Asad Ali Toor asked if the chief justice would take suo motu notice of "why Sindh Police officers are refusing to discharge their duties".

"Who kidnapped IG Sindh? Who pressurise(d) police officials to register FIR and raid room of Maryam Nawaz? Who violated [their] oath? he tweeted.

Analyst Mosharraf Zaidi quipped if sedition cases or corruption cases against Sindh Police's top brass would be filed following the collective applications for leave.

"Now that everyone in #SindhPolice is on leave who do we wake up at 4am next time #CaptainSafdar is in town?" joked lawyer Ayesha Tammy Haq.