KARACHI: A day after the top brass of Sindh police decided to go on long leave in protest over the events surrounding the arrest and subsequent bail of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Captain (r) Safdar Awan in Karachi, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday reiterated full support to the force.
On Tuesday, the Sindh police chief, at least two additional inspectors general (AIG), seven deputy inspectors general (DIGs) and six senior superintendents of police (SSP) decided to go on long leave in protest over the purported siege of Inspector General House on October 19 that brought the law enforcement agency and security establishment in direct conflict.
The episode came to an end when, later in the day, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa directed Karachi Corps Commander Lt Gen Humayun Aziz to “immediately inquire into the circumstances to determine the facts and report back as soon as possible”. The directive came when Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari requested General Bajwa to order an institutional probe into the incident.
During a meeting with the top brass of the Sindh police including Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mushtaq Mahar at the Chief Minister’s House, Murad said that the provincial government will not let the force be “demoralised under any condition”.
“Sindh Police has given huge sacrifices to establish peace in the province […] I am well aware of their services, sacrifices and professional skills,” he said, adding, “Sindh government is with its police in their difficult time. We will not let police be demoralised under any condition.”
Murad also asked the police to “continue their professional services with full zeal”, saying that the Sindh government would “look after the rest”.
He added that the provincial government has always asked the police force to act independently.
“Sindh Police [officials] paid with their lives to establish peace in the province, particularly in Karachi. They have made huge arrests in important cases of terror acts,” the CM said. “Sindh Police should continue working independently and objectively.”
He added that the government was taking steps to make the police force more stable.
The police officials thanked the chief minister “for guiding and standing with them at every stage”.