The minister also alleged that Sindh Police were involved in extra-judicial killings
KARACHI: Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani slammed senior superintendent of police (SSP) Shikarpur, Dr Rizwan Ahmed, for accusing provincial energy minister Imtiaz Shaikh of running a crime wing and influencing police hiring.
Ghani was holding a press conference during which he alleged that Sindh Police were involved in extra-judicial killings and said they were behaving similar to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The provincial minister called SSP Ahmed a "third-class police officer", labelling Sindh Police as the new emerging opposition party akin to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P).
"Dr Rizwan Ahmed is a third-class, indecent, and cheap police officer. After provincial minister Imtiaz Shaikh, a false report against me was issued," he said, noting that the police officer was posted for a year in his constituency.
The information minister hurled accusations amid rapidly worsening relations between Sindh police and the Pakistan Peoples Party's (PPP) leaders, days after the provincial cabinet recommended removing the inspector-general of police (IGP), Dr Kaleem Imam, over unsatisfactory performance.
He also emphasised that IGP Imam should step down from his post given his current behaviour, allowing him to openly express his thoughts. The top police officer needed to change his conduct if he wished to continue as a civil servant, he added.
"The IG Sindh has become an extremely controversial person and his police career is done," said Ghani. "The way the police officers are operating is worrying; they regularly brief Opposition leaders and are together going to the lawyers.
"The police officers are feeding news to the media alongside the Opposition leaders," he added, criticising the way things were being done in the police department and stressing that the centre behaved the way it did with people from Sindh and political parties because it considered the province to be a step-child.
The provincial minister said he believed the Sindh police had become similar to NAB in the sense that they initiate action against whoever speaks against them.
"Sindh Chief Minister [Murad Ali Shah] should conduct a full inquiry in this matter," he said, adding that he would leave politics if the report was proved to be true.
"I appeal to Sindh CM to probe the allegations levelled on me and investigate all localities where Dr Rizwan had been posted, as well as our assets."
Referring to the report, he said it included the names of certain criminals and was compiled after the Cabinet's decision to remove IGP Imam. "The report against Imtiaz Shaikh [Sindh's energy minister] seems to have been made on January 16," he added.
Another report published in an English newspaper in 2018, he said, had alleged that Chanesar Goth politicians were accused of protecting and leading drug peddlers.
Ghani said he had penned a letter to then-Sindh IGP AD Khawaja, asking for facts and requesting an inquiry but there was no response. At the time, he explained, Dr Rizwan Ahmed had been posted as the Jamshed Town SSP and drug-trafficking became very common right after.
"He called my younger brother, Farhan Ghani. I complained about the criminals to DIG [deputy inspector-general] Sultan Ali Khawaja and Sohail Anwar Siyal was the home minister then," he said.
However, he could not meet the DIG or the additional IG despite many attempts, which he then relayed to Siyal. "I told Sohail Siyal that his DIGs and AIGs were not meeting me and the police were not working, so I will take up this matter in the assembly," the minister said.
Ghani claimed that the police used to arrest "two criminals alongside 20 innocent people".
"One person left the MQM-P to join the PPP so the police went after him. But the police's job is to catch criminals," he said. "My brother was asked to be a spy for the police, told to provide them eight motorcycles and a chowki [check-post] in Chanesar Goth.
"Our workers were killed extra-judicially. My brother, Farhan, was alleged to be a leader and protector of drug-sellers. We were knowingly dragged into this matter.
"And when we talked about Cabinet decision to remove Imam, the report [of allegations] was released," he concluded.