–Firdous says PM has asked Sindh governor to once again discuss name for police chief with Sindh CM
–Sindh IGP Kaleem Imam sees ‘big conspiracy’ behind efforts to replace him
ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: A day after Prime Minister Imran Khan agreed to replace Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Kaleem Imam amid concerns raised by the provincial government, the federal cabinet on Tuesday decided against appointing Mushtaq Mahar as the Sindh police chief after its members from the province expressed strong reservations over the matter.
Briefing the press about the issues discussed in the federal cabinet meeting, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed Sindh Governor Imran Ismail to once again discuss names for the new IGP with Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.
“After consultation between the prime minister and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Mushtaq Mahar’s name had been suggested [in the cabinet] for the Sindh IGP position but cabinet members from the province strongly opposed the idea.
“Keeping in mind the majority view, the prime minister has asked the Sindh governor to discuss the matter with the province’s chief minister.
“The two will hold discussions on the other names suggested for the IGP position as well as new names so that a consensus can be reached on the matter,” Awan said.
Earlier in the day, Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani had, with much surety, said that Sindh IGP Kaleem Imam would be replaced on Tuesday.
“There is no deadlock between Sindh and the Centre over the matter and we are expecting that the IGP will be removed today,” Ghani had said while talking to a private news channel.
The comment had come after Sindh IGP Imam, while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Sindh Police Martyrs Memorial at Central Police Office (CPO) in Karachi, had said that he would not be transferred from his position so easily, adding that a “big conspiracy” was being staged against him.
“The impression being created is that I have been transferred and this ceremony has been transformed into a transfer ceremony. I would like to say that I will not be transferred that easily,” Imam had said.
The Sindh inspector general said that when he does go, it will not be a transfer — in fact “it will be a new evolution”.
“I will transcend on to new stages,” he added.
The matter has been a bone of contention between the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led federal government and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government in Sindh for weeks, with the provincial government earlier recommending Imam’s removal claiming he had failed to perform satisfactorily.
However, the Centre had categorically told the Sindh government that it would not unilaterally repatriate or transfer IG Imam, adding that Imam would continue to serve as IGP until further notice.
The Establishment Division, in a letter to Sindh Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah, had stated that giving charge of the inspector general of police (IGP) to an additional IG would not be compatible with a 1993 agreement between the federal government and federating units.
SINDH GOVT DISMISSES CONSPIRACY ALLEGATIONS:
Following the police chief’s address, Sindh Information Minister Ghani rejected the allegations of a conspiracy, adding that it was Imam who had initiated conspiracies against the Sindh government.
He said transferring of police personnel is a routine matter but in Sindh, despite the cabinet giving detailed reasons for Imam’s removal, he insists on staying.
“Imam has been colluding with opposition in Sindh and planting baseless news reports regarding Sindh cabinet members in the media,” said Sindh’s information minister.