–PPP chief asks PTI govt to quickly resolve matter of Sindh IGP’s removal
KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Tuesday lashed out at the federal government over its reluctance to replace Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kaleem Imam, saying that centre was treating the province like a colony.
Addressing a press conference after inaugurating the new 100MGD pumping station at Dhabeji, the PPP chief said that in other provinces, the police chiefs are changed in the blink of an eye but the process was being made unnecessarily complicated for Sindh.
He asked whether Sindh did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Constitution and had a separate law. “Sindh is being treated like a colony that has to look elsewhere for orders,” he said.
Bilawal further asked the federal government to resolve the issue as soon as possible as his party was accountable to the people of Sindh.
A day earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, requesting him to direct the Establishment Division to select a name from the three names proposed by the provincial cabinet as a replacement for Sindh IGP “as was done in the case of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) recently”. The three officers recommended by the provincial government are Ghulam Qadir Thebo, Kamran Fazal and Mushtaq Mazhar.
Highlighting the contents of the letter, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) parliamentary leader in Sindh, Haleem Adil Shaikh, asked the logic behind surrendering the services of the police chief when the Sindh High Court (SHC) had already given a stay order on the matter. He added that the federal government will issue directives for the police chief’s removal only after the said consultation.
On Monday SHC had ordered the provincial government to not remove the incumbent IGP from his post until the federal government formally responds to the provincial government on the subject. “Remove him whenever the federal government responds, even if it is this evening,” the judge had said.
The court’s directives came during the hearing of a petition against the IGP’s removal. In the petition, the applicant, rights lawyer Jibran Nasir had summarised everything that had happened in the case, starting from the Sindh cabinet’s meeting that had decided that the IGP should be removed, to the Establishment Division’s refusal to remove Imam from his post as due discussions were not held between the federal and provincial governments.
The petitioner had asked the court to block the Sindh government’s move to “remove Imam without due process”.
Opening his arguments, the petitioner’s lawyer, Faisal Siddiqui, had said that the court had already blocked the Sindh government’s move to transfer two police officers out of the province.
“Now they want to remove the Sindh IGP, and put someone else in his position,” the lawyer had said.
Siddiqui had argued that the Sindh government did not mention any consultation with the federal government in their letter to the establishment division.
Responding to the petitioner’s argument, Additional Advocate General Sindh Shabbir Shah had said that the matter is of public interest. However, he had conceded that the federal government was yet to respond to the Sindh government on the matter of the current IGP’s removal.
The hearing was then adjourned till January 28.