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Sindh APC resolves to crackdown on corrupt police officials

Pakistan on 16 September 2013
Location : Karachi, Pakistan | Source : Pakistan Today. Image Source: Pakistan Today

The Sindh APC meeting held in Karachi and chaired by PM Nawaz Sharif, shed light on the extraneous appointments of police officers in Sindh made by political figures since 2002. During the meeting, it was decided that a targeted operation led by the Rangers was to be launched in order to weed out the criminals from the provincial police department. 

The information about the strategic placement of police officers was obtained from documentary evidence presented by federal intelligence agencies. The attendees of the meeting were told that during the PML-Q and PPP governments, over 10,000 appointments were made in the Sindh Police. 

The rift between the PPP and the MQM following the recent general elections, led to both parties publicly accusing each other of filling the Sindh police department with their loyalists which led to the dwindling law and order situation in the city. 

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon, who is also deputy information secretary of the PPP, said it was under retired General Pervez Musharraf when the PML-Q and MQM ruled the province that a number of superfluous political appointments were made in the police department.
He claimed that the PPP always followed the legal process for induction in the police department. However, Zahid Mehmood, a central figure in the MQM, accused the PPP of appointing its favourites in the Sindh police department.

Mr.Mehmood, who is also a member of the MQM’s central information committee, said it was on record that former Sindh home minister Zulfiqar Mirza placed 2,000 PPP workers, who were known criminals from Lyari, in the police department.

According to intelligence personnel, the issue stretches beyond nepotism; what is more troubling is the high number of criminal records of those now wearing police uniform. 

Prime Minister Sharif was highly disturbed by the matter. 

“They are safely in the thousands and when the information was presented during the meeting, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah had no plausible explanation,” remarked a senior government official who also attended the meeting.

The attendees were informed that the PPP government had deputed several people in the police department from other provincial departments for no valid reasons.

When Prime Minister Sharif pointedly asked the Sindh chief minister how police could discharge its duty fairly when it has such a large number of political appointees, Mr. Shah agreed that in the past political appointments were made in the police department, but contested the figures offered by the intelligence agencies. 

Mr. Sharif asked the chief minister to take strict action against these officials if his government wanted to bring peace and order back to Karachi.

Security officials unequivocally told the prime minister that in the presence of such a large number of police personnel who routinely take orders from their political masters, no operation could produce lasting results.

At a press conference following the meeting, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that the only way to move forward was to prosecute and punish some of the Sindh police officials involved in criminal activities in Karachi so that the rest of them could learn lesson. 

The meeting also decided to make merit-based recruitments of some 10,000 personnel in the Sindh police department, for whom the federal government would provide additional resources to the provincial government.

The federal government has asked the Sindh government to take a decision about the future of political appointees.

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