KARACHI        -         The Association of former inspectors general of Police (IGP) noted with concern here on Monday that increasing number of IGPs in the province were not being allowed to complete their statutory tenure. According to a press release issued here, the former IGPs said that in the last couple of years, four inspectors general of police were transferred prematurely in Punjab, three in Khyber Pakhtunkwa and three in Islamabad. In Sind, the situation is even worse as the provincial government is seemingly in a perpetual conflict with the IGP. “The relatively long tenures of the last two IGPs in Sind were only due to frequent court interventions on public interest litigations by the city’s proactive civil society,” they concurred. “Ousting the head of a uniform force unceremoniously due to arbitrary political considerations has serious implications for the morale and performance of the personnel,” they noted. It creates a sense of uncertainty and debilitates the institution from within. In the process, effective law enforcement becomes the first casualty and public interest suffers immensely. It is not the case that the government cannot remove an IGP prematurely. The law provides the procedure for premature transfer of the IGP, but only when there are compelling reasons justifying such actions and only after following a transparent process laid down in law and providing the officer concerned an opportunity of hearing before an independent forum. The government must realize that selection of the head of the police organisation and security of his tenure is key to any meaningful police reforms. Lack of transparency in the process will only damage the credibility of the government with political and social ramifications. It is in public interest to follow a stable, credible, transparent and statutory process for the selection and removal of heads of police department.