KARACHI - In defiance of the federal government’s directives to withdraw the services of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Umerkot Aijaz Ahmed Shaikh from Sindh, the provincial government on Tuesday refused to hand over the services of the officer.

In a letter written to the secretary establishment division, the federal government was asked to withdraw the notification of the transfer of the BSP-18 officer, dated December 09.

It said that Aijaz Shaikh was presently doing an important assignment as Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) district Umerkot. Besides, there is a dearth of officers of PSP in the provincial government.

“It is, therefore, requested to kindly allow him to continue services in the provincial government and that the establishment division notification be withdrawn,” reads the letter.

The entire episode, revolving around the transfer of the SP, began when armed men attacked the convoy of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Parliamentary Leader in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Shaikh in Umerkot on November 01.

Provincial govt refuses to hand over officer

Later, on November 03, Haleem Adil Shaikh was booked in the district police station for kidnapping a man.

The PTI leader complained to the Sindh governor about the ‘biased’ attitude of the Aijaz Ahmed Shaikh in the matter. The policeman was also accused of misbehaving with the voters of Arbab Ghulam Rahim apart from registering the First Information Report (FIR) against the PTI leader.

Acting on the complaint of PTI leader Haleem Adil Shaikh, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail wrote to PM Imran Khan. The federal government sought a reply from the chief secretary and the Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Kaleem Imam over the conduct of the police officer.

Later when the Sindh government officials did not reply to the federal government, Aijaz Ahmed Shaikh was asked to report to the Establishment Division.

Spokesman for the Sindh government and Advisor to the Sindh CM on Legal Affairs Murtaza Wahab asked the federal government and Sindh governor to stop interfering in the affairs of the province.

“They should not be interfering in the province’s affairs,” he said while speaking to the media at Sindh Assembly’s premises on Tuesday. “If they think that the PPP will be scared because of these tactics, then they are wrong. PTI should worry about its own future,” he said.

Criticizing the role of the governor in the entire scenario, the Sindh government spokesman asked the governor to serve the people by fulfilling his constitutional responsibilities. “The governor is bound by the law to listen to the chief minister, cabinet and the provincial assembly,” he argued.

“If you [the governor] want to serve the people then follow the Constitution,” he remarked. “For how long will the federal government interfere in Sindh’s matters?” This does not happen in Punjab or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Then, why is only Sindh being treated this way?” he asked.

Responding to the criticism by Murtaza Wahab, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail said that he had no authority to appoint or remove any police official in the province. “If they have any issues, then the provincial authorities should reach out to the federal government for the redressal,” he said.

In his letter to the provincial chief secretary, Opposition Leader in the Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi expressed concern over the transfers of police officers in Sindh.

He wrote that the provincial authorities were violating Police Act regulations by transferring the officers despite the disagreement by Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP).

He was pointing to the transfer of SP East Azfar Mahesar and SP Shikarpur Dr Rizwan on instructions of Sindh chief minister Murad Ali Shah.

Naqvi alleged the Sindh government was backing criminal elements by making such ‘controversial’ decisions. “The police officers the provincial government is transferring are actually probing the cases involving the seniors of PPP,” he alleged.

The opposition leader demanded the chief secretary to maintain transparency by taking immediate notice of these ‘suspicious’ transfers. He also asked the chief secretary to urge the government for reviewing the transfer orders.