–Sindh info minister says govt wants to replace Kaleem Imam for several reasons, including mishandling of cases
–PTI leaders say PPP govt ‘victimising’ honest police officers for ‘pre-election rigging’
KARACHI: The Sindh cabinet on Wednesday decided to ask the federal government to replace Sindh Inspector General of Police Dr Syed Kaleem Imam, however the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Sindh leaders have opposed the demand, saying it is the Centre’s prerogative to appoint the Sindh IG.
Addressing reporters after a meeting of the Sindh cabinet, Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani said that the provincial government wanted to replace the IG for a number of reasons.
“Today’s meeting was held after the Sindh government had written a letter to the IG on December 13, to inform him of their intention to get the Establishment Division involved in the matter,” Ghani said.
Explaining some of the reservations of the Sindh government against IG Imam, Ghani said: “At certain points, the Sindh IG gave some irresponsible statements regarding transfers and postings.”
“Furthermore, the IG kept writing letters to various embassies directly. According to the rules, a police chief cannot directly write letters to embassies. If one has to conduct any such correspondence, it needs to happen through the Foreign Office or through the provincial government’s administrative body.”
Ghani also mentioned the “mishandling” of the Bisma and the Dua Mangi kidnapping cases as one of the reasons for the cabinet’s decision. “Dua Mangi’s family was not ready to cooperate with police regarding her kidnapping and once she had returned, the Sindh chief minister had to give a number of assurances in order for them to record their statement with the police.”
Ghani said that IG Imam had also mishandled the Irshad Ranjhani case.”The IGP resisted the arrest of the police officials responsible for Ranjhani’s killing. This resulted in rioting all over the province and four people also lost their lives in Larkana,” he added.
“The IG has given several statements regarding him not being able to choose his own team. However, in reality, I can assure you that at least in Karachi, from the additional IG to any SSP, all transfers and postings have been made on his recommendation.”
“I am telling you about a few of the incidents that caused the cabinet to make this decision, the list is very long,” Ghani said.
He then went on to say that the Sindh government is bound to send three names for the Establishment Division to choose from. “And they are bound to pick one name. This is the due process, which could be simpler if provinces are given the power to conduct their own transfers and postings.”
“In the past, a number of IGs have been replaced in Peshawar, Punjab and even the federal capital without any reason given, in our case, we are actually giving concrete reasons for our request. This is why, we believe there should be no problem in replacing the current police chief,” Ghani said.
Asked to share the names likely to be recommended by the Sindh government, Ghani said the names of Ghulam Qadir Thebo, Mushtaq Mahar, Kamran Fazal and Sanaullah Abbasi were among the top choices.
The cabinet also requested the chief minister to initiate disciplinary action against Imam by sending a detailed statement, with proof of his misconduct, to the Establishment Division.
PTI SAYS WON’T ALLOW IG’S REMOVAL:
Soon after Ghani’s press conference, PTI Sindh leaders told reporters they wouldn’t let the IG be removed “come what may”.
Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had also contacted Sindh Governor Imran Ismail to discuss the issue.
“Honest police officers are being victimised,” said Naqvi, alleging that this was part of the PPP’s plan for pre-election rigging.
“The local government elections are coming up and this is part of the pre-election rigging plan,” he claimed.
Naqvi, who was flanked by PTI Sindh President Haleem Adil Sheikh and other party lawmakers, said that the rules did not allow the Sindh government to recommend any names for the post of IG.
“The federal government recommends the names, not the provincial government,” he said, while waving what was presumably a copy of the law.
“The Sindh govt has done what we feared it would do when the Police Act was being passed,” said Sheikh.
“They want to make the police ‘aunty corruption’,” he said, accusing the provincial government of wanting to post its favoured personnel on coveted posts in the police department.
Sheikh said that the provincial government must reveal the ‘compelling reasons’ they were citing, adding that “we will not let this happen.”