Corruption in public life and offices usually has the decency to find itself a fig leaf to hide behind as it goes about its dirty business, but no such modesty on display with the removal of the Inspector General of Police (IG), AD Khawaja. This man is by all accounts an exemplary police officer with a track record of being uncorrupt and refusing to bend to political pressures when it came to making appointments or investigating crimes. In those very virtues lay his downfall — although the twist in the tail of the tale may be yet to come.
The provincial government is held by the Pakistan People’s Party, and it is the PPP collectively and individually that stands as nakedly corrupt in this tawdry affair. For the second time since the start of the year the PPP government had unseated IG Khawaja making little attempt to disguise the fact that it was his refusal to take political direction that was the reason why he got his marching orders. For the second time he now finds himself reinstated courtesy of the independently-minded Sindh High Court (SHC) that on Monday 3rd April suspended the notification of his removal on the grounds that it had not been ratified by the federal government as required.
At the time of writing there is no on-the-record comment by the Sindh government as to this reversal of its fortunes, but the affair is unlikely to be buried.
The removal of Khawaja will directly impact on the ongoing ‘Karachi operation’ as he had the support and cooperation of all the law-enforcement agencies involved in this complex task — itself an unusual circumstance. The Sindh government was flying in the face of an existing SHC order by appointing a replacement for Khawaja — a move it was not mandated to take. It is for the PM himself to make appointments at grades 21 and 22, which he most certainly has not in this instance. It is the exemplary conduct of this upright man that brings us to the conclusion that a corrupt police force, corruptly led, is the only form of law-enforcement acceptable to the PPP establishment. They bring shame and disrepute on themselves and their governance, and IG Khawaja has our unwavering support.