For the outgoing Inspector General Police (IGP) Sindh Mushtaq Shah, Saturday was a big day. Not only was he retiring from the police after 32 years, he was also celebrating turning 60.
Shah spent the day in farewell engagements with his colleagues and government officials, as well as the media.
In the afternoon, he held a meeting at his office with journalists to speak about his professional history and thank them for their support.
Shah’s tenure was not an easy one. He took over as IGP last October, and was unable to stem episodes of targeted killings and has a failed operation in Lyari to his resume. Karachi was the hardest nut to crack for the veteran officer.
“I faced a lot of problems during my service (to the force) and Karachi was the biggest challenge,” he confessed. In a more candid admission, Shah said: “Modern technology is needed to establish peace in Karachi, not an operation.”
However, he did take credit for several things, including the improvement of the state of law and order and the improvement of the police’s performance.
In Shah’s tenure as IGP, several steps were taken for the Sindh police including training for fingerprinting and conducting DNA tests from British forensic experts, a forensic training programme via the Australian federal police, a Sindh police assistance program by the US, the establishment of new women police stations in the province, 100 housing units in each district for the police constables, salary raises and to include the rocket launchers in the operations against the dacoits in interior Sindh. The installation of CCTV cameras through the police command and control system is at the last stage, he said. Shah knew the city inside out. He was promoted to Grade 21 before appointed as IGP on October 21, 2011. Before this, he had served as Additional IG Traffic, as well as DIG Operations Karachi, IG Prisons, Regional Police Officer Sukkur and Additional IG Crime Investigation Department.
Shah joined the police force as an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) in 1981. He is one of the few officers who did not get an extension after retiring. One of Shah’s predecessors, Jahangir Mirza, who was the IGP from January 2006 to April 2007, also did not get an extension after retirement.
Shah also said that he was successful in increasing the police’s budget, as the government increased it to Rs38 billion from Rs29 billion.
“I had requested for a budget increase for Sindh police’s progress. With this additional budget, we equipped the police, including getting new vehicles, weapons and bulletproof vests so that they could be secure and safeguard citizens.” A dinner party was also held on Saturday night at his residence for officers and colleagues.
“Tonight I will turn 60,” he said. “And now I want to spend time with my family.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 8th, 2012.
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