ISLAMABAD: In a bid to replace the incumbent Inspector General of Police (IGP) AD Khowaja, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) led Sindh government on Monday moved the Supreme Court (SC) against the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) order regarding the functioning of Khowaja as the Sindh police chief.
The petition stated that Sindh cabinet has decided to change the IGP, but was restrained from doing so as the SHC had ordered that Khowaja will continue to work as IGP. It added that the services of a provincial police chief are offered to the province on the will of the provincial governments.
The petition was filed by Farooq H Naek on behalf of the Sindh government, in which he pleaded before the SC to declare the order of the SHC as null and void. It was contended in the petition that the order of the provincial cabinet was supreme according to the Constitution.
IGP Khowaja and the Rangers’ director general were held respondents in the petition among others.
Earlier this month, Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti– who is currently serving as the Additional Inspector General (AIG) (Research and Development) under command of AD Khowaja – was promoted to Grade-22 by the federal government, turning the incumbent Khowaja junior to Dasti.
The Sindh cabinet had decided to ask the federal government to replace Khowaja, who is a Grade-21 officer, with Dasti as the new police chief since he is a Grade-22 officer.
The efforts to remove the incumbent IGP were carried out in the past as well. The PPP-led Sindh government had tried to remove Khowaja as IGP first time in December last year by trying to send him on forced leave.
Later in April this year, the provincial government forcefully surrendered his services to the federal government and had appointed Dasti, then a grade-21 officer, as the Sindh IGP. In a legal battle that followed, IGP Khowaja was ordered by the SHC to continue functioning as the provincial police chief.
The bench, in its short order, set aside the government notification for relieving Khowaja from the IGP office, ruling that the provincial government could not remove an IGP sans any justification. The court also made it mandatory for the government to follow the verdict in Anita Turab case under which an IGP could not be removed from his post before completion of three years of his tenure.
The Sindh government had in June withdrawn Khowaja’s powers to decide the transfers and postings of senior police officials in the province. However, the court in its judgement restored IGP Khawaja’s powers.
Meanwhile, the petitioners of the Police Reforms Case / AD Khowaja Case on Sunday expressed their deep disappointment with the decision of the Sindh government to recommend the removal/replacement of IGP Khowaja and non-approval of the Sindh Police (Posting, Transfer and Tenure) Rules, 2017.
In a statement issued here on Sunday, they stated that they were disappointed because both these decisions clearly showed that the Sindh government was trying to subvert the spirit of the SHC’s landmark judgement while pretending to implement it.
They also termed the decision to recommend the replacement of IGP Khowaja with Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti as a repeat episode of PPP-led Sindh government’s bid to remove Khowaja, as it occurred in April this year when a notification was issued in this regard, which was declared illegal by the SHC in its judgment.