KARACHI: The new deputy director of Sindh’s Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) is a man who is himself under scrutiny over corruption charges.
SP Fida Hussain Shah is currently facing an inquiry by the country’s top anti-graft body, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). According to a notification issued by Sindh chief secretary Rizwan Memon on February 27, Shah has been appointed as deputy director of Headquarters II at the ACE directorate.
“Syed Fida Hussain Shah , an officer of Police Service of Pakistan (BS-18), awaiting posting in CPO Sindh Karachi is posted with immediate effect and until further orders as Deputy Director (Headquarter II) (BS-18), Directorate of Anti-Corruption Establishment, Sindh, Karachi against an existing vacancy,” stated the notification.
Defending his appointment, Shah insisted that mere inquiries against him cannot prevent his posting. “There are a number of clear-cut judgments of the apex court as well as the Sindh High Court that state that transfers, postings and promotions of police officers cannot be affected on the basis of pending inquiries,” Shah told The Express Tribune.
However, a senior police officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, admitted that most transfers and postings are influenced by the individual officer’s relations with the government. “Everything happens on the basis of favouritism – likes and dislikes,” he said.
Shah’s is not the only case of favouritism. Another Sindh Police SP Tanvir Tahir, who is also facing the same corruption charges by NAB, has been posted with Punjab police.
Along with Shah and Tahir, NAB Karachi is holding an inquiry against many other police officers, such as former Sindh IG Ghulam Hyder Jamali, DIG Aleem Jafri, West DIG Feroz Shah, SSP Pir Muhammad Shah, SSP Muhammad Arab Mahar, SSP Saqib Ismail, SSP Azfar Mahesar and 62 other officers. These officers have been accused in five different cases involving embezzlement and misappropriation of over Rs1.41 billion.
The inquiry began when, in February 2015, NAB received a complaint on the alleged corruption in Sindh Police. According to the complaint, police officials and some private contractors for different projects of the police department allegedly collaborated with each other to embezzle millions of rupees.
Once the complaint was verified, it was turned into three inquiries and was handed over to NAB Sindh by the NAB chairman in June 2015. According to NAB Karachi spokesperson, they have already filed a reference in one case. “It’s been more than perhaps two to three months,” he said.
These inquiries related to the embezzlement in the purchase of closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV), procurement of police uniforms, ration for non-existing mess of police department, feeding charges, purchase and repair of armoured personnel carriers, procurement of civil works and incorrect invoicing.
These funds came for a United States government-funded project worth Rs1.8 billion. The police department and the US government had agreed to install 1,600 CCTV cameras at 400 locations in Karachi, 160 five-megapixel cameras of a specific standard, 40 switches and eight IBM servers and supporting equipment.
The issue of transfers and postings of certain police officers in Sindh Police have apparently created a tussle between Sindh police chief Allah Dino Khawaja and the provincial government.