PPP rejects MQM demand for police chief’s removal

Pakistan on 04 October 2013
Location : Karachi, Pakistan | Source : The International News. Image Source: The International News

Retorting to the demand made by the members of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s coordination committee that the incumbent Karachi police chief be removed from the key post, the Sindh information and archives minister said the appointment of Shahid Hayat was made purely on merit.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said any person having a complaint regarding Additional Inspector General Hayat’s appointment should approach the independently working superior courts.
Memon said the provincial government would not allow any political party to push its agenda on the matter of the ongoing targeted action being carried out against criminals in Karachi by the law enforcement agencies.
He said Hayat was considered to be an honest and daring officer of the provincial police service, adding that targeted operations against lawless elements was being carried out by the Rangers and police on the most indiscriminate basis and the operations would continue without any influence. Memon said no political party was being particularly targeted in the ongoing operations.
Earlier, in a statement issued by the MQM, members of the party’s coordination committee Tariq Javed and Muhammad Ashfaq appealed to President Mamnoon Hussain, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to immediately remove AIG Hayat from his post “to save Pakistan”.
The coordination committee members implicated the Karachi police chief in the murder of Mir Murtaza Bhutto, and in the killings and torture meted out to activists of the Pakistan People’s Party and other political parties.
They said the police, under the supervision of Hayat, was registering false criminal cases against MQM activists for political motives. They expressed fear that schemes would be hatched in the future to “extrajudicially kill falsely booked MQM activists”.
Hayat’s tainted past
Hayat took over on September 12, a week after the LEAs launched an operation against criminals in the metropolis. His posting drew criticism from various political parties over his controversial role in the operation in the ‘90s and his involvement in the Murtaza Bhutto murder case.
After a controversial encounter in which Bhutto and his seven companions were killed in Clifton on September 20, 1996, Hayat, then an ASP, was among several police officials who were booked in an FIR as suspects. He remained behind bars for two years and stood a trial for 13 years before being acquitted in 2009.
His posting as city police chief - the fifth in just nine months - has been criticised by security analysts as well, who say frequent transfers expose senior police officials to political interference and render them ineffective.
Five disgruntled senior police officers challenged the appointment of Hayat as Karachi’s police chief in the Sindh High Court on Monday. Allah Dino Khawaja, Bashir Memon, Sanaullah Abbasi, Azhar Rashid and Dr Ameer Ahmed Sheikh, who are holding different posts in the Sindh police, questioned the appointment of Hayat, a grade-20 officer of the Police Service of Pakistan, as Karachi Range AIG, a post of grade 21.
They said he had been working as DIG Special Branch before his transfer and posting as AIG through a notification issued by the chief secretary. They accused the chief secretary of ignoring senior and experienced police officers of grade 21, as well as more senior and experienced grade-20 officers.

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