Leaderless force: With no one to lead, Sindh police struggles to counter militants

Half of the eight senior posts in the Sindh Police department have been lying vacant for months.


Our Correspondent June 29, 2014

KARACHI:


At a time when the country is embroiled in war against militants, four of the eight key posts in the Sindh Police lie vacant. Meanwhile, the law enforcers, fighting these militants, seem confused as to who is meant to be leading them.


These senior posts have been waiting for the appointment of grade-21 officers since the last few months. The hold-up is on the part of the government that has failed to make the key promotions. These delays have not only frustrated the police officers but have also had an adverse effect on the targeted operation in Karachi.



There are a total of eight positions for grade-21 officers in the Sindh Police department. These include the post of Sindh IG, Sindh Additional IG, Karachi Additional IG, CID Additional IG, Traffic Additional IG, Research and Development Additional IG, Special Branch Additional IG and Crime Additional IG. Currently, the posts of Sindh IG, Karachi AIG, Traffic AIG and Special Branch AIG are the only ones on which officers are posted.

Interestingly, there are no more grade-21 officers in the Sindh Police while around half-a-dozen grade-20 officers are waiting to be promoted. These officials are Abdul Aleem Jafri, who is currently serving as Crime DIG, Mushtaq Maher who is serving as Headquarters DIG, Captain (retd) Tahir Naveed who is serving as District West and Central DIG and Hyderabad DIG Sanaullah Abbasi.

“These officials are due to be promoted by the departmental promotion committee (DPC) which is supposed to be chaired by the prime minister,” a police official told The Express Tribune, on the condition of anonymity. “In the last DPC held around three months ago, Tahir Naveed’s application for promotion was rejected while Sardar Abdul Majeed was promoted and is now posted as CCPO in Quetta.”

Frustrating wait

The officers who are seeking promotions are seemingly frustrated over delays by the federal government. They believe this will adversely affect the ongoing operation against militants and criminals in Karachi. “Of course this will affect the Karachi operation,” said one of the officers seeking promotion, on the condition of anonymity. “We have completed the Staff College course and our promotions are due but the federal government is not convening a DPC to accord us for promotions.”

According to the rules, grade-20 officers must undertake the staff college course to qualify for promotion to grade-21. The DPC then makes a decision regarding the promotions. The prime minister chairs the DPC, while the interior and establishment secretaries as well as the provincial IGPs partake in it. “The DPC reviews the experience, seniority and annual confidential reports of the nominees to decide whether the officer deserves the promotion,” explained a source privy to the matter.

Recently, former Additional IG Sindh Ghulam Haider Jamali was transferred to the Anti-Corruption department, CID Additional IGP Tahir Naveed was transferred to the post of DIG West and Central, while Research and Development Additional IGP Bashir Memon is currently waiting to be posted. Meanwhile, the provincial home secretary Dr Niaz Abbasi declined to comment on the issue when contacted.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2014.

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