After ‘forced leave’, Sindh top cop back to work

Published: January 3, 2017
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KARACHI: Sindh’s Inspector General Police (IGP) Allah Dino Khawaja, who was sent on forced leave in mid-December amid a protest by the federal government, resumed his duties on Monday and attended a Sindh apex committee meeting chaired by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

Besides attending the moot, Khawaja also spent time in his office at the Central Police Office complex and took notice of the incidents occurring in the province while ordering a security beef-up following a landmine blast in Balochistan.

Sindh govt sends IG on ‘forced leave’

“We said the IGP had gone on leave. He has now rejoined his office,” said adviser to Sindh CM, while commenting on the development.  “It was not an issue; only the media created a hype about it,” he claimed.

The IGP was sent on forced leave on December 19 reportedly due to his differences with the PPP-led Sindh government over interference by a businessman Anwar Majeed – a close confidante of the PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari – into transfers and postings in the police department.

Additional IG Mushtaq Mahar was given the charge as the police chief during Khawaja’s absence.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had expressed dismay over Sindh government’s decision.

“The change in law and order in Karachi is because of the IGP and he is an honest officer. The federal government is reviewing the matter, but it is prerogative of provincial government to recommend name of the IGP,” he had said.

The Sindh High Court on December 28 issued a stay order while hearing a petition moved against Khawaja’s removal from the post. During the proceedings the court issued notices to the federal, provincial governments and AD Khawaja for January 12.

“IGP Khawaja assumed the charge of his office with the consensus of Sindh government as it was better for both – IGP and Sindh government,” said a senior officer in police.

However, sources privy to the matter told The Express Tribune that uncertainty hovers over Khawaja’s fate as it is expected that he will be removed from his position by the end of January as federal government has started consultation with provincial government in this regard.

“IG Sahib has returned but he will not be able to continue his job for a long time,” said a senior police official, close to Khawaja. “He is likely to quit his job voluntarily as Sindh government will continue creating hurdles in his work.”

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Sources said it is actually in the interest of both Khawaja and Sindh government that he leaves as he has been left with no option but to resign himself because the provincial government will not coordinate with him anymore.

Khawaja replaced Ghulam Hyder Jamali as IGP Sindh about eight months ago.

“The issues like recruitment, transfers and postings as well as facilitating the PPP in the JIT of Lyari violence kingpin Uzair Baloch, former chairman fisheries Nisar Morai and former petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain have almost been resolved and Khawaja facilitated the PPP,” the source said.

However, exchange of harsh words with Majeed over an issue of police with sugarcane farmers in Badin became the reason that Sindh government had to remove him, he added.

New IGP

The federal government has also agreed to remove Khawaja, the source asserted, adding that the name of Moazzam Jah Ansari has been suggested as his replacement.

Ansari is a Grade-21 officer of Police Service of Pakistan serving with the federal government right now. He has previously worked at the Federal Investigation Agency, the Intelligence Bureau and Sindh police.

The Sindh government, however, is interested in appointing another Grade-21 officer, Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti, who was posted as Additional IG Research, Development, Inspections and Enquiries on December 28 during the absence of Khawaja.

“In Sindh, Dasti is senior than Khawaja,” said a senior police official while requesting anonymity. “It is very difficult for a senior officer to work under his junior, especially in our police department.” Dasti is a well-reputed officer, who is also in the good books of the Sindh and federal governments.

IGP’s appointment process

For the IGP’s appointment, the chief minister orders chief secretary of his province to send three nominations for the post of the IGP to the secretary establishment division, Islamabad, who then forwards them to the interior minister, who discusses the nominations with the prime minister.

“After the 18th amendment, the consensus of both the provincial and federal governments should be necessary for the appointment of the IGP,” a source explained.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 3rd, 2017.

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