The tussle between the Sindh government and the provincial police chief intensified further on Wednesday after the police did not submit a report over Tuesday’s tragic killing of a minor boy in the University Road area.
Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had sought a report from the police department over the incident, but they seem to have ignored his order. Various statements against the police department, particularly IGP Kaleem Imam, have been given by the government, including the CM, his law adviser Murtaza Wahab and Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani. They have indicated that the provincial government is unhappy with the federal government-appointed police chief.
The IGP held a Police Darbar at the Karachi Arts Council to discuss many issues. “Neither will I be the police chief forever nor will you remain a part of the police department forever,” he told those who attended the event.
“One day all of us will retire, but the police department will always remain, so why not do something good or unique for the betterment of the department.” After the Darbar, he held a news conference at the same venue. He was accompanied by senior police officers, including Additional IGPs, SSPs and Karachi police chief Amir Shaikh.
“The police are answerable to the nation, the courts and the media, and are under the Sindh government. We do follow the government policies. The Sindh government gives Rs1.5 million for every police station. The Sindh police is a part of the provincial government,” said the IGP.
A senior officer said: “On the one hand the IGP responded politely to the Sindh government and calmed down the situation, and on the other hand, holding a press conference with all the senior officers, he has given a clear message that he is not alone.”
The Sindh police chief vowed not to let the incident like Tuesday’s repeat in future, and apologised to the family of 19-month-old Ahsan Shaikh on behalf of the police department.
“We have also held a meeting about conducting specialised training sessions for the police. We are gradually replacing automatic weapons with small weapons, and majority of the officials now have small weapons. More training will be imparted to the police about their duties and use of light weapons.”
He expressed sorrow over Tuesday’s incident. “We are also sad about all such incidents, including Amal’s and Nimra’s. The Sindh police admit their mistake and apologise.”
IGP Imam said the meeting was held for the improvement of the Sindh police. Sharing the details of their performance, he said the murder rate has declined by 53 per cent compared to last year.
“Mobile phone snatchings have gradually declined this year. The joint efforts of the Rangers, the Counter Terrorism Department and the police have helped us succeed against criminals.” He said that over 2,500 police officials were martyred in the line of duty, adding that 71 terrorists and 12 target killers were arrested this year in addition to thousands of other criminals.
“The Pakistan Super League, the Naval Exercise and other international events were held in Karachi,” he said giving credit to the Sindh police for their peaceful holding. The IGP said the vice-chief of Daesh was killed in Sindh, adding that the biggest network of the outfit was eliminated under the supervision of DIG Irfan Baloch.
“A number of target killers involved in the martyrdoms of police officials have been arrested. The media should highlight our efforts along with our negligence.” He said he used to attend a funeral of a policeman after every 10 days. “The Sindh police have given outstanding sacrifices. Karachi is my city and your city.”
Talking about the Mufti Taqi Usmani case, he said they are still working on the case, adding that a five-year master plan is being devised for improving the Sindh police. Lauding the efforts of the Rangers, the IGP said the role of the paramilitary force for bringing the stability of peace in Karachi is very important. “Sindh Rangers Director General Maj Gen Muhammad Saeed’s efforts are unforgettable.”