KARACHI: The Sindh government on Monday removed Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon and posted Additional Inspector General Imran Yaqub Minhas as the new police chief of the metropolis.

According to a notification issued by Sindh Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah, Addl IG Minhas, a grade-21 officer presently serving as the head of the Special Branch, is transferred and posted as the Addl IG Karachi range.

Mr Memon, also a grade-21 officer who was appointed as Karachi police chief in July 2019, is appointed as Addl IG Special Branch in place of Mr Minhas.

Sources in the police and Sindh government said that the transfer of the city police chief was already in the pipeline for quite some time.

Former chief Memon has been posted as head of Special Branch

A senior officer recalled that when he had chaired a meeting about street crimes in Karachi he had told the participants that it might be his last meeting as the police chief of Karachi.

‘Routine administrative change’

In the meantime, the federal government had also requisitioned Mr Memon’s services as the Establishment Division in a letter to the provincial government stated that as per a new policy transfer of officers was required if they had served in the same province continuously for 10 years. This transfer was deemed as imperative to have “diverse experience” and promotion in the next grade.

However, the Sindh government had shown reluctance to relieve Mr Memon, as a senior police officer said that an impression was created that the government would not replace him.

A source at Chief Minister House said that it wasn’t a sudden or abrupt transfer of the city police chief and it was just a “routine administrative change”.

The source said that Mr Minhas also enjoyed good reputation as there were no charges of corruption or misuse of authority against him during his service.

New police chief termed ‘bold’ officer

A police officer described the new police chief as a ‘bold’ officer.

He recalled that it was Minhas who had written a protest letter and asking for long leave when his commanding officer, Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar, was reportedly “taken away” by security personnel in October to pressure him to order the arrest of Maryam Nawaz’s husband Capt Safdar.

After him, several senior police officers also wrote identical letters and such resentment in the force prompted Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to take notice of the situation as he held a press conference and spoke to the army chief who ordered an inquiry.

Meanwhile, a police spokesperson said that the new police chief had served in Punjab and Balochistan in different capacities. He had also served as the IG Prisons in Sindh.

He belonged to urban Sindh and joined the police service as ASP in 1991.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2021

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