Sindh Assembly opposition expresses reservations over proposed police law

Published: May 14, 2019
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Claims law is being changed, IGP is being rendered 'toothless'. PHOTO: FILE

Claims law is being changed, IGP is being rendered 'toothless'. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Despite extensive discussion for the past four days regarding the revival of ‘Police Order 2002’ through an amended bill, the government and opposition members have not reached a consensus on the law. The select committee, headed by Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MPA Ismail Rahu, and comprising government and opposition lawmakers has been debating on the law before it is moved in Sindh Assembly.

Opposition MPAs called for the Sindh inspector-general of police (IGP) to be empowered. They demanded the authority to appoint and transfer police officers in all districts and divisions of Sindh be given to him.

“No one listens to our recommendation. The minutes of meetings are also not shared with us,” said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA Haleem Adil Sheikh while speaking to the media.

Opposition leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi has written a letter to Rahu asking for minutes of the meeting, copy of police order 2002 – updated version, and the high court and Supreme Court judgment of the AD Khawaja case. “We have observed that several changes have been made in the Police Order 2002 document,” said Naqvi.

Sheikh has also written a letter to the head of the select committee and other members expressing reservations over the government’s intent to change the law and render the IGP ‘toothless’.

Sheikh opined that the law has to be revived in its original form. He said that ‘administration’ is already defined in the high court’s judgment of the AD Khawaja case in paragraph 89. According to the judgment, the IGP should have complete control over administration without any interference. This Article should clearly reflect the words of the judgment to ensure the IGP’s control and command over his department.

He was of the view that under Article 184 of the Police Order, the provincial assembly could make minor changes to suit its local needs. “It is susprising to notice that the proposed draft is not the original Police Order 2002. We must achieve clarity as to whether a federal law is being revived or a new provincial law is being enacted,” said Sheikh.

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Meanwhile, Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Information, Law and Anti-corruption Barrister Murtaza Wahab has refuted rumours of the IGP being rendered toothless. He has said that all transfers and postings of police will be made after coordination between the chief minister and the IGP, under the new law.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2019.

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