KARACHI: A crisis of leadership for Karachi’s three important special investigative cells ended on Wednesday with the appointment of DIG Manzur Mughal as the chief of the Criminal Investigation Agency (CIA).
The 3 SSPs running the Special Investigation Unit (SIU), Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) and Anti-Car Lifting Cell (ACLC) report to the CIA DIG. Mughal replaces DIG Iftikhar Tarar who left a while ago after he suffered a brain haemorrhage. Mughal has been transferred from his post as the director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
“It’s a good step because for a while we were working without a head,” said ACLC chief SSP Javed Akbar Riaz. “Mughal saheb is a senior, professional officer and understands things. Hopefully it will benefit us.”
DIG Mughal’s immediate concern is solving three cases of the murders of Jinnah hospital’s Dr Saleem Kharal, the three lawyers and the Domki family women. “I was especially told that they have to be solved first,” DIG Mughal told The Express Tribune.
The 59-year-old officer, who investigated cases such as the Daniel Pearl murder and Benazir Bhutto October 18 attack, has been appointed at a time when Karachi’s body count has been rising. “The biggest problem with the Karachi police is that they make the arrests but because there isn’t enough evidence, the criminals are acquitted,” said Mughal. “Making the arrests is only one challenge. Getting evidence that sticks is the real one.” Nearly 80% of accused people in terrorism cases are acquitted for want of evidence.
“The CIA is a very important department that needed a fulltime DIG and Manzur Mughal is the kind of DIG who gets involved in even the small things,” said SIU chief SSP Shahjahan Khan. “It’s not a joke to head the CIA. But with Mughal saheb’s arrival one of the biggest advantages is that an IB officer will lead it.”
Mughal, who starts work from today, Thursday, said that he was hopeful that he would be able to run the CIA better. Since DIG Tarar went on sick leave, District South DIG Commandant Shaukat Ali Shah was given the task of babysitting the CIA in addition to his other responsibilities. Mughal said that one of the first things he must accomplish is winning the trust of all the officers and personnel (of the three cells) working under him. Few can match his experience as he is an officer who has been through the grind and knows the system. Not only has he served twice at several posts, such as CIA SSP and DIG investigations, but he has also run the show in rural Sindh as the SSP of Larkana, Thatta and Sanghar.
It is perhaps a testament to Mughal’s skills that as a ‘ranker’ and not a prestigious Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) officer, that he has reached the post of DIG. His detractors say that he has risen in the ranks because of extremely good networking and PR skills. Others say that he has excellent relations with the agencies and army, without which such advancements are rare. Indeed, his posting with the IB should come in handy. Most of the real ‘police’ work is done by the personnel from the agencies which have the advantage of extensive intelligence networks in Karachi.
“All our work depends on intelligence and Mughal saheb has come to us from an intelligence agency,” said AVCC chief SSP Ghulam Subhani. “So why won’t it benefit the CIA? Insha’Allah the terrorists are going to be running helter skelter.”
“The IB work was different,” said Mughal when asked. “And this work is different. But the truth is that I am a product of the police department and joined to serve the people.”
This pithy sound byte aside, Mughal will technically have one more year to accomplish anything. He is currently working on a fifth extension in service, believed to be the last.
For some, however, there is a sense of relief that there is a permanent person to run the CIA. “Now we’ll have some real fun at work,” said a DSP there. “Tarar saheb had his own place and Mughal has his own place. But you wouldn’t be wrong if you wanted to say that Mughal is one of those police officers who’s been through the grind [manjha hua afsar he].”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 2nd, 2012.