It seems that even a decision of the Sindh High Court (SHC) was not enough to restrain the provincial government from its insistence to remove the incumbent Inspector General of Police, A.D. Khawaja. In a recent effort to deprive the present IG Sindh, the Sindh Cabinet has requested the Federal Government to replace him with Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti, who is a grade-22 official.
The argument, which Sindh government relies upon, is that since the post of IG is reserved for a grade-22 official, and the present IG is a grade-21. However it is important to note that there are no hard and fast rules which suggest that no officer of grade-21 can hold the office of IGP. Considering the chain of events in the tussle between the provincial government and incumbent IG Sindh, it is clear that the desire of upholding rules and procedure is not the motivation behind this attempt – this is personal, once more.
What explains such reluctance to accept A.D. Khawaja as IGP? The explanation lies in his initiatives taken which, if allowed in the present form, will minimize, and in fact almost eliminate political interference in the certain affairs of the police department.
The recent attempt to remove IG Sindh is a rather roundabout way, in comparison to the earlier brute attempts which it made since last year. This current endeavour goes against the verdict given by SHC, which ordered the government to let him complete his tenure. The provincial government with its latest move is not only trying to bypass the court ruling on the matter but also wishes to retain the control of police department in its hands as far as transfers of higher officials of the department are concerned – both ignoble goals.
Considering the dwindling perception of PPP amongst the masses on the national level, the recent step to remove IG once more and its previous attempt get rid of NAB in the province will not help the party in any manner. In fact, these desperate measures reinforce and strengthen public opinion of PPP as a party who will go to any length to avoid accountability and independent institutions.
With orders like these from the provincial cabinet under the Chief Minister, the top leadership of the ruling party in the province– such as Bilawal and Zardari– are deprived from the moral pedestal from which they have been criticising corruption in other provinces. Doing so while openly going against a high court order makes them hypocritical, to say the least.