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PTI wants city police chief gone

Karachi

July 1, 2018

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has written to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) head to oust the Karachi police chief because the party believes he can influence the July 25 general elections in favour of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

In his letter to the chief election commissioner, Haleem Adil Sheikh, PTI’s senior executive vice president in Sindh, claimed that some three years ago Mushtaq Mahar was posted as the city’s additional inspector general of police with “direct influence and direction” of the PPP.

Sheikh said Mahar has been managing a network of station house officers at round about 116 police stations across the metropolis, adding that the previous Sindh police chief, IGP AD Khowaja, “did not toe the line of the PPP, so the party, through Suhail Anwar Siyal, the then home minister, relied only on Mahar”.

The PTI leader said it may be justified to be sceptic and believe that the continuation of Mahar as the city police chief will make it convenient for him to influence the elections to benefit the party that had appointed him.

Citing different conditions of the ECP’s code of conduct, Sheikh said provision 31 states that resources cannot be used for unfair advantage, and according to provision 61, Article 218(3) empowers the election commission to guard against corrupt practices such as the use of undue influence. “Provision 62 highlights the role of the ECP in providing a peaceful and level playing field to all the political parties and contesting agents,” added the PTI office-bearer.

He asked the ECP to neutralise the Karachi police chief’s office by transferring Mahar and replacing him with any unbiased officer “for the sake of ensuring transparency”.

He said that one of the essential aspects of conducting free and fair elections is to restrict political influence on the police and the bureaucracy.