KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah is reportedly unhappy with the provincial police chief who is said to have not advocated the promotion of the former’s Personal Staff Officer SSP Farrukh Bashir from grade 19 to grade 20 during a recent meeting of the Central Selection Board, it emerged on Friday.
Previously, former police chiefs A. D. Khowaja and Kaleem Imam had to go after developing differences with the provincial chief executive and Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mushtaq Mahar is the third such officer whose fate is hanging in the balance.
Certain elements in the provincial government alleged that the incumbent provincial police chief and a top bureaucrat, both as members of the high-powered board, did not enthusiastically argue in SSP Bashir’s favour for promotion.
A source said that the chief minister had reportedly expressed his displeasure with IGP Mahar for not speaking in favour of his PSO during the meeting of the CSB.
SSP Bashir says he is not aware of denial of his promotion to grade 20
Sources familiar with this development told Dawn that the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government in Sindh might have some grudges against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led federal government as the latter was allegedly depriving its favourite officers in the police and provincial bureaucracy of promotions on the pretext of strict implementation on the criteria.
Explaining the strict criteria for promotion, the sources said it was decided that PSP or DMG/PAS officers would not be promoted if something was lacking in their annual confidential reports (ACRs) and if their papers were not completed.
Besides it was also decided that no promotion would be given to an officer who had got less than satisfactory marks in his/her training course and if the officer was facing any inquiry or case against him/her. Also, no promotion would be granted in case of any adverse intelligence reports, the sources added.
It was because of these reasons that several officers, including SSP Bashir, from the PSP and PAS groups were not given promotion.
While the CM was unhappy over the issue, official sources said that SSP Bashir was facing some allegations pertaining to a custodial death when he was the SSP of Jamshoro, the home district of the CM, land grabbing, influencing transfer and posting of other police officers being the PSO to the CM and that questions over his health.
A senior police official, who wished not to be named, told Dawn SSP Bashir had also played a role in creating some ‘misunderstanding’ between the CM and former IGPs over the issue of transfer/posting as he had reportedly shown a tendency of arbitrarily interfering in police matters much to the chagrin of successive police chiefs.
His last posting was in district Jamshoro a couple of years ago. Later, SSP Bashir got posted as the PSO to the CM and he had been working there for the past four years.
However, when contacted, Rasheed Channa, the spokesperson to the Sindh CM, said that reports about purported differences between the CM and the IGP were ‘baseless’.
He said that CM Shah knew how the system of selection board and promotion of officers worked and one single person/member of the board concerned could not influence it.
SSP Bashir told Dawn that he had not been officially informed about the outcome of the CSB meeting. He said he was waiting for the minutes of the meeting, which might take one or two months and till then he had no other option but to wait.
Besides, he said a promotion was the ‘right’ of any officer, as it was not a favour which can be either granted or denied.
About allegations, he said he was ‘acquitted’ from the murder case in Jamshoro and if anyone had evidence about his alleged involvement in land grabbing, he should come forward or stop levelling baseless accusations.
About questions over his health, he said he had gone on leave for eight to 10 days when he was Jamshoro SSP. “To go on leave on medical grounds is something natural like these days when officers went on leave due to Covid-related problems,” he said.
He also denied the allegations that he interfered in transfers and posting and said if anyone had evidence he should furnish it at appropriate forum.
Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2021