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Thursday December 02, 2021

Sindh governor, ministers exchange barbs

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on Monday said that he had suggested to Prime Minister Imran Khan to remove the IGP Sindh Mushtaq Mehar for his harassment of the opposition parties.

February 23, 2021

KARACHI: Expressing annoyance and anger over the ongoing arrests and alleged victimization of members of opposition PTI since the by-polls in PS-88 constituency last week, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on Monday said that he had suggested to Prime Minister Imran Khan to remove the IGP Sindh Mushtaq Mehar for his harassment of the opposition parties.

Speaking at a press conference here at the Governor's House on Monday, the governor said that Sindh Police’s conduct against the opposition reminds him of the era of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement's founder Altaf Hussain when hooligans used to control Karachi. Severely upbraiding the IGP Mushtaq Mehar, Ismail said the incumbent had failed to discharge his duties impartially and his official conduct had become questionable due to his political affiliations. “Either the Sindh IGP is powerless or he is doing all this on the directions of someone,” the governor charged.

He said that after the by-election in PS-88 in District Malir, the Sindh Police unduly lodged a criminal case against Leader of Opposition in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Shaikh under the Anti-Terrorism Act and breached due privileges of the opposition leader.

Governor Ismail said “not only that a snake was found from Sheikh’s lock-up but the opposition leader was also subjected to extreme torture.”

Ismail said that he had informed the prime minister about the police excesses in the province and the wave of hooliganism unleashed by them in Sindh. “The police action has turned a genuine political activity of partaking in election a criminal activity,” he said.

Warning the Sindh Police to mend their ways, the governor said their official conduct should not be meant to please or coerce anyone but only to abide by law. He warned that the federal government would be forced to exercise its writ if the police officials in Sindh didn’t mend their ways. “We are reviewing the affairs of Sindh Police and this should be treated as the last warning,” he said. “I am not seeking any favour from police as they should do justice in this case,” said the governor. The governor said that when he contacted the Sindh IGP, he responded that their action was in accordance with the law. He claimed that the IGP even told him to seek the services of police officials of Punjab to conduct the probe into his conduct. To a question, he ruled out the possibility of imposing Governor’s Rule in Sindh but called for an improvement in the relations between the Federation and Sindh.

To a question, about the leader of the opposition carrying armed guards, the governor said the private security was employed only after the official security of the leader of the opposition was withdrawn.

Meanwhile, in a rejoinder to the Governor Sindh’s demand from the federal government to remove the IGP Sindh for police action against the opposition leader in Sindh Assembly, Sindh ministers on Monday said that a person holding the post of the governor should not threaten the police.

Addressing a press conference in the Sindh Assembly, Adviser to the Chief Minister Barrister Murtaza Wahab and Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah asked the representatives of the federal government to let the Sindh Police do their job.

“When a challan has been obtained in a case, let the court decide it independently. Do not interfere in court proceedings as all this play is being enacted to influence the case,” said Wahab. He said the Federation should keep its nose out of the provincial affairs. Referring to statutes, he said interference and causing disorder in the election process is a crime, and questioned if the law is any different for the PTI leader of the opposition and went on to say that two sets of laws cannot be applied to benefit the political elite.