It was a first, but important step. Complying with the Supreme Court’s order, the federal government has removed the chiefs of Pakistan Rangers Sindh and Sindh police over the extrajudicial slaying of a young boy by Rangers’ personnel in Karachi last week – the video of which stunned the nation.
A spokesperson for the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) confirmed DG Pakistan Rangers Sindh Major-General Ijaz Chaudhry’s sacking while a separate notification issued by the establishment division confirmed Sindh Inspector General Fayyaz Leghari’s removal from office.
Last Friday, the court had disposed of the suo motu case and ordered that the two officials be removed within three days as they could influence investigations. But when such orders were not passed until Monday, Attorney-General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq wrote a letter to the establishment division and the army’s General Headquarters, reminding them of the court’s verdict.
Following the sacking of the two high-profile officers, the next step in the case is the investigation report.
The court had appointed DIG West (Karachi) Khawaja Sultan as the investigation officer in the gruesome murder case. He has been directed to complete investigations within seven days and submit a charge-sheet with the relevant court. That deadline ends at the end of this week.
The trial court has also been given a 30-day deadline and told to conduct day-to-day hearings in the case.
Sultan has arrested all six Rangers’ men who shot the boy and a civilian with dubious credentials and unaccounted presence at the crime scene.
New Sindh IGP
Following Leghari’s removal, the names of Karachi police chief Saud Mirza, Inspector-General of Islamabad Police Wajid Durrani and Hyderabad RPO Mushtaq Shah are being considered for the post.
Sources said that city police chief Mirza would continue holding additional charge as IGP until the government announces the name of the new IGP. An IGP should be an officer of either grade-21 or 22. RPO Hyderabad Mushtaq Shah and Mirza are grade-21 officers while Durrani is a grade-22 officer.
Sources said that DIG South Iqbal Mehmood could replace Mirza, if he is made IGP.
Sources also said that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) had expressed some reservations over Durrani’s posting but senior government officials have addressed the MQM’s reservations in the matter.
Meanwhile, Leghari is expected to be appointed as the new Director-General of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), an official privy to the matter told The Express Tribune. Another source said that while the presidency was now considering Leghari for the post, the prime minister had earlier considered Waseem Kausar. A decision has not yet been taken as President Zardari is not in the country, sources said.
Leghari was appointed in February after Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani terminated the contract of former Sindh IGP Sultan Salahuddin Babar Khattak in February.
WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ASAD KHARAL IN LAHORE
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2011.
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