KARACHI – The Pakistan Peoples Party-led Sindh government withdrew the powers of Inspector General of Police (IGP) A.D. Khawaja to decide the transfers and postings of senior police officials in the province.
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According to a notification issued on Friday, approved by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, the Services, General Administration and Coordination Department of the provincial government has been empowered to issue the transfers and postings of SPs, SSPs and equivalent officers with direct approval of the chief minister.
“Chief Minister Sindh is pleased to approve that the transfers and postings of Superintendents of Police (BS-18)/ Senior Superintendents of Police (BS-19) and equivalent shall be issued by the Services, General Administration and Coordination Department,” read the order issued by provincial Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon.
According to the notification, the order is in accordance with Rule 9(2) of the Sindh Civil Servants (Appointment, Promotion & Transfer) Rules, 1974.
The government’s order of August 9, 2016, whereby powers were delegated to the IGP for transfers and postings of SPs and SSPs “is hereby cancelled/withdrawn”, read the order.
The latest development seems a fresh assault of Sindh government on the police chief already entangled in a legal battle with the government.
The police official (AD Khawaja) remained in the limelight ever since PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari decided to return after ending self-exile in December last year.
Following the decision, Sindh High Courtland dry directed the provincial government not to take any action against the police official.
The institutional ping-pong started when the Sindh government surrendered the services of Khawaja to the federal government in April and replaced Khawaja by appointing another grade-21 police officer Abdul Majeed as acting IG.
However, on April 3, the Sindh High Court (SHC) had suspended a notification issued by the Sindh government that replaced AD Khawaja with Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti as the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
Khawaja, a senior police official appointed to the post in 2016 offered to leave his job, telling the SHC through his counsel that doing his job had become increasingly difficult under the current circumstances as he has been facing increasing hostility from political quarters, with the provincial government keen to send him packing as soon as possible.
However, the SHC refused to let Khawaja relinquish his post and maintained its stay on his removal till it deliberates the matter.