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On Wednesday, Sindh IG Allah Dino Khawaja surrendered his post before the Sindh High Court. He told the court that he could not properly carry out his duties due to repeated harassment from the Sindh government.

“I can’t continue working, I am not being allowed to do my job,” said AD Khawaja in his reply to the court. “Since the past six months, it has become very difficult for me to work,” he added.

The SHC division bench, headed by Justice Munib Akhtar, put off the matter till May 16 after the plaintiff lawyer, Faisal Siddiqui, completed his arguments to keep Khawaja as the IG of police force in the province.

On May 11, the SHC extended its stay order over the removal of Khawaja, restraining the provincial government from taking any action against him for five more days.

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The SHC division bench, headed by Justice Munib Akhtar, put off the matter till May 16 after the plaintiff lawyer, Faisal Siddiqui, completed his arguments to keep Khawaja as the IG of the police force in the province. Siddiqui said 13 police chiefs were posted and had subsequently been transferred in the province within a very short time frame by the Pakistan People’s Party-led provincial government. Because of this inappropriate action, the government should be investigated through a commission, he contended.

The IG was insisting on appointing candidates on merit, conducting test through the National Testing Service (NTS). Meanwhile, the government suggested continuing the old system and pressured him to appoint police officers of their choice in various districts.

Responding to the comments filed by the provincial government through its advocate-general, Zameer Ghumro, he said the respondent had cited upholding of the seniority during the appointment of the police chief but itself had never maintained the same previously. He said that the provincial government had attempted to replace Khawaja with Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti, a grade-21 officer. Technically, Dasti was junior to another similar scale officer, Ghulam Qadir Thebo, who currently is the Anti-Corruption Establishment chairperson, the lawyer stated.

On April 6, the SHC bench had passed an interim order, directing Khawaja to continue his duty as the provincial police chief. Since then, it is being extended by the court.

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The conflict between the provincial government and the Sindh IG started because of a tussle between him and a businessman said to be a close associate of PPP leader Asif Zardari who runs his sugarcane business.

According to officials, the business tycoon asked IG Khawaja to use his influence of the police force to ensure that sugarcane was only supplied to his mill in lower Sindh. The differences came to the fore after he refused to oblige him. Apart from that, appointments in the police force is said be another bone of contention between him and ruling party.

The IG was insisting on appointing candidates on merit, conducting test through the National Testing Service (NTS). Meanwhile, the government suggested continuing the old system and pressured him to appoint police officers of their choice in various districts.

It seems that the IG has been overcome by the provincial government as he has finally given up the fight.

Question for discussion: Why do you think IG Sindh is backing out?

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