Pakistan Peoples Party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, taking exception to the federal government’s apparent reluctance to replace the provincial police chief, has alleged that Sindh is being treated like a "colony".
The remarks came during a press conference at the inauguration ceremony of the new 100MGD pumping station at Dhabeji on Tuesday.
“IGP(s) of Punjab and other provinces are changed in the blink of an eye,” said Bilawal, adding however that Sindh was entangled in a rigmarole for a simple removal.
The PPP supremo questioned if there was a separate law for Sindh, as it was being treated like a colony and had to look elsewhere for orders. He asked the federal government not to prolong simple matters as ‘they’ [PPP] are also accountable to ‘their’ people (of Sindh) for redressal of issues.
The PPP-led Sindh government and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led federal government have been caught in a tug of war for the last couple of weeks over the removal of IGP Dr Kaleem Imam.
In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Imran Khan a day earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had requested the premier to direct the establishment division to select a name, from the three proposed by the Sindh cabinet, as a replacement for the current IGP.
The three officers recommended by the provincial government are Ghulam Qadir Thebo, Kamran Fazal and Mushtaq Mazhar.
In the letter, CM Shah requested the premier to direct the establishment division to place the services of one of the officers named in the letter as IGP Sindh, as swiftly “as was done in the case of Punjab and KPK province recently.”
The letter was reported by the media today (Tuesday), when PTI’s parliamentary leader in Sindh, Haleem Adil Shaikh questioned the nature of the letters in a video message. He said that the Sindh government’s act of surrendering the services of incumbent IGP Syed Kaleem Imam, when the provisional court has already given a stay order to the said officer, was a political move and a clear violation of rules and regulations.
The federal government will issue directives for the IGP’s removal only after said consultation, he added.
Dr Kaleem Imam’s removal as IGP Sindh was on the horizon since his dispute with the Sindh government came to the surface, late last year, over the transfers and postings of officers in the province. At the time, the IGP had complained that the Sindh government’s actions were “affecting the working of the police” and creating an “environment of uncertainty (in the department).”