September 24, 2023

Sindh IG defers leave, orders his officers to set aside their leave applications for 10 days


Karachi – Abdul Rehman Chudhary:

Sindh IGP Mushtaq Mahar has decided to defer his own leave and ordered his officers to set aside their leave applications for ten days, shared Sindh police late Tuesday night, adding that the decision was taken “in the larger national interest” and pending the conclusion of the inquiry into how the arrest of PML-N leader Mohammad Safdar unfolded.

In a shock move following Safdar’s arrest on Monday morning, Sindh IGP, at least two additional inspectors general, seven deputy inspectors general and six senior superintendents of Sindh police on Tuesday applied for leave in order to “come out of […] shock” caused by the “episode of registration of FIR against Capt (R) Safdar”.

According to the applications — all of which were identical — submitted to IGP Mahar, the officials said that it had become hard for them to “discharge [their] duties in a professional manner” due to the stress caused by Safdar’s arrest.

“The recent episode of registration of FIR against Capt (R) Safdar in which police high command has not only been ridiculed and mishandled, but all ranks of Sindh police have been demoralised and shocked.

“In such stressful situation it is quite difficult for me to discharge my duty in a professional manner,” the letters read.

Following the string of leave applications, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari called on Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Faiz Hameed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Safdar and “investigate your institution [and] how it is operating in this province”.

Moments later, Gen Bajwa took notice of the incident and also spoke to Bilawal over the phone. Bilawal, accompanied by Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, visited the IG to smooth over matters.

Sindh police, late Tuesday night, tweeted: “The unfortunate incident that occurred on the night of 18/19 October caused great heartache and resentment within all ranks of Sindh police.

“As a result, Sindh IG decided to proceed on leave and subsequently all ranks decided that they would also apply for leave to protest the humiliation meted out to Sindh police. This was a spontaneous and heartfelt reaction and made on an individual rather than a collective basis because every single member of the department felt an acute sense of disrespect.”

Sindh police said it was “immensely grateful to the Army Chief for realising the sense of hurt that prevailed within a uniformed force, and for promptly ordering an inquiry into the matter which he has also assured will be impartial”. The force said it was also grateful to Bilawal and Sindh CM “for coming to the IG House and showing solidarity with the police leadership”.

“Sindh police has always been a disciplined force which believes in institutional harmony between all key national institutions and has always been cognisant of its responsibility to serve and protect the citizens of this province and thus, keeping this in mind, Sindh IG has decided to defer his own leave and ordered his officers to set aside their leave applications for ten days in the larger national interest, pending the conclusion of the inquiry.”

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