Karachi               -             Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday vowed to teach Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Syed Kaleem Imam and other officers of the department—who he said were challenging the mandate of the people of Sindh—a ‘lesson’ ‘as no officer would be allowed to oppose policies of the elected government’.

Replying to a call attention notice by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Khurram Sher Zaman pertaining to Senior Superintendent of Police Shikarpur Dr Rizwan Ahmed Khan’s allegations against two provincial ministers, Murad said it was he, who was first accused by a policeman of having links with a hardcore criminal, Yousuf aka Thelewala, over which he had terminated that officer.

Citing reasons for changing the IGP, Murad said that people of Sindh had rejected Dr Kaleem Imam as the provincial police chief ‘as he had failed to maintain law and order in the province’. “Dr Imam is a failed police officer, who is being pressurized perhaps for the sake of promotion or something else. It is the right of Sindh to have the IGP of its own choice,” he said while making it clear that only those police officers who would comply with directives of the elected representatives could work in the province.

“We did try to continue with the incumbent IGP, but he is not competent enough to serve in Sindh. The law and order situation deteriorated during his tenure and the issue was also raised by the opposition lawmakers. Dr Imam has become a party and no officer would be allowed to do politics,” he said.

 The CM complained that nobody raised eyebrows when IGPs in other provinces were shown the door, adding that two or three provincial police chiefs were changed in Punjab without any uproar by the opposition.

Murad told the House that Prime Minister Imran Khan had assured him thrice; at a meeting as well during telephonic conversations, that he would cooperate with him on the issue. “The PM asked me to send him the names of the nominees for the slot of IGP, in response to which I had sent five names to him and an officer out of the panel would be appointed as the IGP once PM Imran returns from the World Economic Forum in Davos,” the CM hoped.

Responding to the accusations made by Shikarpur SSP, Murad said this ‘incompetent’ officer’s allegations against the provincial ministers were ‘fabricated’. “I came to know in October 2019 that some members of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) were going to be implicated in fabricated cases, in response to which I had ordered an inquiry, but the provincial police chief concealed the police report,” the CM added.

He said it was the first secret report which was being circulated on social media, adding that even the police high-ups were taking their time to verify the report.

The CM asked police to arrest anyone, including the ministers, who were involved in criminal activities.

“The SSP Shikarpur has also remained involved in misusing his powers and lodging fake FIRs under terrorism clauses against poor people of the district. Our MPA from Shikarpur Imtiaz Shaikh had complained to the IGP, but he didn’t bother to take action against his blue-eyed officer,” Murad alleged.

Information Minister Saeed Ghani and Energy Minister Imtiaz Ahmed Shaikh also spoke on the occasion, and rebutted the allegations leveled against them.

Opposition boycotts session:

Major opposition parties—PTI, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and Grand Democratic Alliance—boycotted the proceedings when Deputy Speaker Rehana Leghari allowed the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Mukesh Kumar Chawla to move ‘The Establishment of  The Office of The Ombudsman for The Province of Sindh (Amendment) Bill, 2020’ for reconsideration.

 

Chawla presented the bill clause-by-clause, and it was passed unanimously amid absence of three major opposition parties.

The bill—aimed at taking back power from the governor to appoint Ombudsman and empowering the Chief Executive for the same purpose—was passed by the Assembly on 8th January and was sent to Governor Imran Ismail for assent.

Ismail; however, returned the same for reconsideration, maintaining that the ombudsman appointed by the chief executive could not be expected to act independently.

 Tributes to late MPA

Earlier, a resolution was moved by PPP’s Ghulam Qadir Chandio to pay tributes to late party colleague Syed Ali Mardan Shah who died of cardiac arrest on Sunday.

In the resolution passed unanimously, the House expressed grief over Mardan’s demise and paid him rich tributes.