Pakistan

IG Khawaja complains about Sindh govt’s move to curtail powers

KARACHI: A tug of war between the PPP government and Sindh police chief A.D. Khuwaja over powers doesn’t seem to end as the latter on Saturday complained to the Sindh chief secretary about the government clipping his wings, ARY News reported.

IG Khawaja wrote a letter to the Sindh’s top bureaucrat, expressing his reservations over the government’s moves aimed at curtailing his powers.

In the letter, he submitted that Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali had transferred some of his powers to the chief secretary, including those related to routine matters. The powers pertaining to seeking permission or reporting the authorities before going out of station belonged to the IGP, however, these powers were unlawfully transferred to the chief secretary, he regretted.

Earlier on May 31, the Sindh government had issued directives to deputy inspector general of police (DIGPs) and senior superintendent of police (SSPs) to seek permission from or report to the chief secretary prior going out of station.

The PPP government and IG Khawaja have been at loggerheads over the latter’s refusal to appoint government favorite police officer ahead of by-elections in some constituencies and devising merit-based recruitment policy in the police force.

The rift between the Sindh government and IG Khawaja had come to the fore when the former surrendered the services of latter to the center and appointed additional IG Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti in his place on 1stApril.

However, the provincial government had to suffer a setback on 3rd April when the high court suspended its notification restoring IG Khawaja when some members of the civil society approached it against the government.

The court observed that the IG could be removed only after the cabinet endorses the decision as the apex court had held in its verdict that the provincial governments could exercise their statutory powers conferred on them through cabinet.

Subsequently, the Sindh government summoned a cabinet meeting which endorsed removal of AD Khawaja and the appointment of additional IG Dasti in his place.

A petition against the provincial government’s powers to appoint IG of its own choosing is pending for decision in the Sindh High Court.

During hearing of the case, the incumbent IG had submitted an application asking the court to allow him to leave his job as discharging his duties amid growing hostility from the rulers had become increasingly difficult for him.

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