KARACHI: Just a day after Malir SSP Rao Anwar-led police action against Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Khawaja Izharul Hassan, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari vowed to “depoliticise” police explaining that such partiality of the law enforcers was “weakening” peace efforts and making the entire exercise look “politically” motivated.
While presiding over a high-level meeting attended among others by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, the PPP chairman came up with a clear directive for police reforms showing strong resolve against all those elements who “take the law into their own hands”.
“We believe in rule of law and democracy and no one will be allowed to take the law into their own hands,” a Bilawal House statement quoted the PPP chairman as saying.
The meeting was also attended by senior minister Nisar Khuhro, advisers to chief minister Maula Bux Chandio, Murtaza Wahab, Saeed Ghani, Senator Taj Haider, Senator Sherry Rehman, Habibuddin Junaidi, Syed Najmi Alam, Waqar Mehdi, Lateef Mughal, and political secretary to the chairman Jameel Soomro.
‘No one will be allowed to take the law into their own hands’
The Friday police action had attracted immediate reaction from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, and the provincial and federal governments. Shortly after the arrest of Mr Hassan, the chief minister called IG police A.D. Khwaja to get the officer suspended. It was for the first time that both provincial and federal governments sounded in agreement over MQM concerns, as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif contacted CM Shah and endorsed the directives he had given following the arrest of Mr Hassan.
The PPP chairman, too, endorsed the provincial government move and issued directives to bring reforms to the law-enforcement agency so that such untoward incidents would not happen in the future. He highlighted the need to improve efforts to restore peace and tranquillity.
Mr Bhutto-Zardari was quoted as saying that his “party is committed to depoliticising the police, as political operation will only weaken our resolved efforts for restoration of peace and tranquillity.”
Meanwhile, the chief minister briefed the PPP chairman about ongoing development programmes in the city and the progress made so far in the current fiscal year. “It was stressed during the meeting that issues of water, garbage and transport should be taken up on a priority basis and both short-term and long-term policies should be adopted to deal with these problems,” said the Bilawal House statement.
The party chairman also asked the Sindh government to work in coordination with elected representatives of the local bodies and ensure that jobs were provided on merit.
The PPP chairman also set up a committee to organise the Oct 18 programme in the memory of over 200 party activists who were killed in the twin bomb attacks at Karsaz. The committee members are Rashid Rabbani, Saeed Ghani, Waqar Mehdi and Najmi Alam, according to the statement.
Published in Dawn September 18th, 2016