News Analysis |
Sindh government received another serious setback at the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan when the SC reaffirmed the earlier decision of the Sindh High Court (SHC). The apex court refused to accept the Sindh government’s decision of sacking the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Sindh A.D. Khawaja. Earlier, the Sindh Cabinet had passed the decision to remove IGP A.D Khawaja and also got the approval of his sacking from the Federal Cabinet.
Sindh Government argued that the appointment of the IGP is a provincial matter according to the Police Act 2011, and Sindh government is fully competent to appoint the chief of their police department. However, there have been several petitions from civil society activists including Jibran Nasir and others that argue that the Sindh government has mala fide intentions for removing and changing the IGP because it creates instability in terms of the law and order situation in the province.
The issues between police and the Sindh government have been prevalent for many years. The situation is under control in Punjab where the government is much stronger and enjoys a firmer grip on the police force.
indh High Court has agreed with the petitioners and has stopped the Sindh government from removing the IGP and the SC has reaffirmed the decision of the SHC so he will now keep his position and has been allowed to do transfers within the police department. The SC rebuked the Sindh government for forcefully trying to change the IGP without any valid reason. This has been an ongoing issue for the past few years.
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Attempts to remove A.D. Khawaja have been made twice. First in December 2016, he was sent on a forced leave and then in April 2017 when he was assigned to the federal government. Khawaja prefers working independently and does not accept any political pressure for hiring/removing of police officials.
He doesn’t see eye to eye with many notable politicians and that is one of the reasons why many politicians are keen on his removal. Khawaja improved the training of police officials and made the recruitment criteria very strict and purely based on merit. The issues between police and the Sindh government have been prevalent for many years. The situation is under control in Punjab where the government is much stronger and enjoys a firmer grip on the police force.