Jul 172017

KARACHI: The Sindh government on Monday transferred and appointed five additional inspectors general (AIGs) of police — the Karachi police chief and four deputy inspectors general (DIGs) — in a major reshuffle that is being seen as a move by political elites to ‘isolate’ incumbent IGP A.D. Khowaja.

Sources in the police department told Dawn that Mr Khowaja in a letter to Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah expressed his ‘serious reservations’ over the ongoing transfers and postings of police officers “in large numbers and without any consultation with the police department”.

In the letter, the sources said, IGP Khowaja stated that the police performance was ‘badly affected’ due to frequent transfers and postings of officers in large numbers without any consultation with senior police officers.

In this situation, if any untoward incident took place, the home minister might be held responsible for it, the sources quoted the police chief as saying. They said the police secretariat (CPO) had almost become ‘paralysed’ in the absence of DIG Headquarters, DIG Finance and other senior officers.

Critics see it as a move to ‘isolate’ IGP A.D. Khowaja

According to a notification issued by Sindh Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Ghulam Qadir Thebo, a PSP officer (BS-21) presently serving as chairman of the Enquiries and Anti-Corruption Establishment Sindh, Karachi was transferred and appointed as Additional Inspector General (AIG) Police, Karachi, replacing AIG Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar. 

AIG Mahar was posted as AIG Traffic, replacing Khadim Hussain Bhatti who was transferred and posted as AIG Police Research and Development and Inspection. The incumbent AIG Police Research and Development and Inspection Sardar Abdul Majeed was transferred and appointed as AIG Sindh.

The incumbent AIG Sindh Dr Aftab Ahmed Pathan was transferred and posted as AIG Crime Branch, relieving AIG Dr Sanaullah Abbasi of the additional charge.

Separately, the chief secretary also appointed Dr Amir Ahmed Shaikh, awaiting posting as DIG Technical and Transport against an existing vacancy. Dr Shaikh was allowed to also hold the charge of DIG Training Sindh in addition to his own, relieving Imran Yaqoob Minhas of the additional charge.

Imran Minhas was transferred and appointed as DIG Traffic, Licensing and Training Karachi, replacing Mazhar Nawaz Shaikh.

Mazhar Nawaz Shaikh was transferred and posted as DIG Security, Karachi against an existing vacancy, according to the notification.

The provincial government recently took back the power of appointing SPs and SSPs from IGP A.D. Khowaja amid reports about the ‘tussle’ between the political elites belonging to the ruling PPP and the provincial police. 

Sources in the provincial government told Dawn that grade-21 civil servants were usually transferred and appointed by the Establishment Division in Islamabad. Since these officers were at the disposal of the provincial government, the province can transfer and post them.

Another notification issued by the chief secretary stated that the home minister had been empowered to sack and appoint police officers up to the rank of DIGs across the province, thus there was no need to seek approval of the chief minister for transfer and appointment of such senior police officers.

The sources privy to this development said that the chief minister had no ‘say’ in the transfers and postings of the senior police officers.

“It was a political decision taken by the political elites whose motive appeared to [be to] isolate IGP A.D. Khowaja,” opined one of the top-ranking police officers who wished not to be named.

“Such massive reshuffle has triggered anxiety among the civil servants,” said an official of the provincial government on condition of anonymity.

The officer said such major reshuffle in the police department had not been made even when Gen Pervez Musharraf had taken over the country. Usually the AIGs were appointed and allowed to select their team of junior officers, he said.

But in this case SPs and SSPs had been transferred and posted across Sindh over the past three to four days and the AIGs would have to work with the team already selected for them.

Published in Dawn, July 18th, 2017

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