Thursday Jan 18 2018

Sindh IG AD Khawaja to continue on post, rules Supreme Court


ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Sindh Inspector General of Police AD Khawaja will continue on his post and dismissed moves by the federal and provincial governments to replace him. 

The directions were given during the hearing of the Sindh government's plea challenging an order of the Sindh High Court (SHC) which has ruled that Khawaja would continue as the provincial police chief. 

During the hearing of the provincial government's appeal, the three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justices Umar Ata Bandiyal and Ijazul Ahsan, restrained the federal government from replacing Khawaja.

The court ruled that any move of the federal government to transfer the IG will have no effect. 

The IG will also have complete authority to order transfers and postings in the province, the court observed. 

Moreover, the bench ordered to uphold the SHC order. The court also accepted the provincial government's appeal and will hear the case at a later date.

Sindh CM, Bilawal's complaints 

Following the incident, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah complained on Twitter that the Sindh government is "serving people despite the fact that it cannot transfer" the province's chief secretary, police chief and other bureaucrats with the court's consent. 

"Why just Sindh? How does GoS ensure good governance?" said Shah. Afterwards, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari retweeted the message, stating "#OneLandTwoLaws". 

'SHC order beautiful'

On September 7 last year, the SHC had dismissed the provincial government's order removing Khawaja and ordered that he complete his due term.

During today's hearing, the chief justice remarked that the SHC decision is a “beautiful judgment”, adding that it deserves to be read a couple of times. 

On April 3, 2017, the SHC had dismissed the provincial government’s decision to remove the Sindh police chief after a group of activists approached the SHC challenging his controversial removal.

On October 30, 2017, Sindh government had challenged the SHC decision in the Supreme Court. 

On January 10 this year, the federal cabinet approved the Sindh government's request to post Sardar Abdul Majeed Dasti as the new IG, according to sources. 

Since last year, the Sindh government has been attempting to replace Khawaja with an officer of 'its choice'.