ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar observed on Thursday that policing should be free of political interference.
He made the remarks while hearing the Sindh government’s appeal against a Sindh High Court decision allowing the province’s inspector general of police (IGP) AD Khawaja to continue on his post.
During the hearing, the chief justice wondered why the Sindh government is worried regarding Khawaja’s appointment, as only a limited number of days are left in his tenure.
Pakistan Peoples Party’s senior leader Farooq Naek, representing the provincial government, declared in court that there is no worry regarding Khawaja’s appointment.
Chief Justice Nisar responded that if there’s no worry, why doesn’t the court adjourn the hearing for two years.
Naek responded that the court may adjourn proceedings, but he is arguing about the law. He argued that the apex court cannot put conditions on the Parliament’s right to legislate, saying Parliament has given the provincial government the authority to appoint officials.
The chief justice remarked that the police work should be free of political interference.
He added that the court cannot accept the removal of the IGP at any given time.
On January 18, the Supreme Court had ruled that Khawaja would continue on his post and dismissed moves by the federal and provincial governments to replace him.
The directions were given during the hearing of the Sindh government’s plea challenging the SHC order which ruled that Khawaja would continue as the provincial police chief.
The court had also accepted the provincial government’s appeal and will hear the case at a later date.
Since last year, the Sindh government has been attempting to replace Khawaja with an officer of ‘its choice’.
On April 3, 2017, the SHC had dismissed the provincial government’s decision to remove the Sindh police chief after a group of activists approached the SHC challenging his controversial removal.
On September 7 last year, the SHC had dismissed the provincial government’s order removing Khawaja and ordered that he complete his due term.
On October 30, 2017, the Sindh government had challenged the SHC decision in the Supreme Court.