KARACHI - The Sindh government yesterday sent IGP Allah Dino Khawaja on a leave and given additional charge of IGP to Karachi AIG Mushtaq Mahar.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah took the decision a few days before the arrival of PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. Zardari is scheduled to make comeback from Dubai on December 23 after 18 months.

The notification read: “AD Khawaja, an officer of Police Service of Pakistan (BS-21), IGP Sindh, is granted twelve days casual leave with effect from December 19 to December 30, on private affairs and three days leave ex-Pakistan to visit UAE, on affairs with effect from December 31, subject to title and with the condition that his name does not exist on the exit-control list and that his not required by any court of law.”

It adds: “Mushtaq Mahar, an officer of PSP (BS-21), Additional IG, Karachi, is allowed to look after the charge of the post of IGP Sindh in addition to his own duties, during the leave period of AD Khawaja.”

Differences between AD Khawaja and the ruling party emerged over some issues like recruitments, appointments and reshuffle in Sindh police – especially over the appointment of the former Malir SSP Rao Anwar.

Sources said Khawaja, considered to be a competent police officer, landed in trouble, following the recovery of huge cache of arms from a close aide of PPP leadership. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had approved the appointment of Khawaja as Sindh IGP replacing Ghulam Haider Jamali.

The new IGP is expected to be appointed during Khawaja’s absence and the names are ex-IGP Iqbal Mehmood, a grade-22 officer working at National Police Foundation, Anti-Corruption Department Chairman Ghulam Qadir Thebu, Add IG Mushtaq Mahar and Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti.