SHC seeks report on official protocol to Tappi

Karachi: The Sindh High Court SHC on Tuesday once again directed the home secretary to furnish a detailed report disclosing the official protocol provided to Owais Muzaffar Tappi, said to be a foster brother of President Asif Ali Zardari.

This directive came on petition filed by Syed Shafqat Hussain Shirazi, and his election manager, Haji Mohammed Haneef, against the official protocol given to Mr Tappi and the transfers and postings of police and administration officers allegedly to influence the upcoming general elections.

The petitioner, through his counsel Aqil Awan, submitted that the president’s foster brother was fielded as an election candidate by the Pakistan Peoples’ Party after he and his family members parted ways with the former ruling party and the respondent was enjoying official protocol without any justification causing prejudice to him and other candidates.

The petitioners submitted that new SP Thatta, deputy commissioner, district education officer and SHOs of different police stations have been posted at the behest of Tappi in order to influence the upcoming general elections in district Thatta.

They alleged that tappi visited his constituency in convoy which included four latest model land cruisers having same number plates, 6 police mobiles and some other vehicles. They contended that Owais Tappi was spreading fear among voters and was harassing them to get him elected from PS88 in Thatta.

Petitioners prayed to court to direct provincial authorities to explain about recent transfers and postings in district Thatta and also explain under what authority Tappi has been given heavy protocol.

In a reply, AIG legal Ali Sher Jakhrani submitted that Abdul Waqar Malihan, beneficiary of outofturn promotions, was posted as SSP Thatta from November 9, 12 to March 11, 2013. Another, beneficiary of outofturn promotion Muhammad Akram was given charge of SSP district after transfer Mr, Abdul Waqar, who enjoyed the posting from March, 9, 2013 to April 5, 2013. In the short span of time another SSP was given charge namely Naeem Ahmed Shaikh, a Police Service of Pakistan PSP officer, on April 5, 2013. Another short span of time a beneficiary of outofturn, Munir Ahmed Khuhro was posted on April 17.

Ali Sher further said that outofturn promotions have been given legal shelter though a act passed by provincial assembly, adding that matter pertaining to outofturn was pending in the supreme court.

However, Mr Tappi declined the allegations saying contention of petitioner was misconceived and misleading.

A division bench of SHC headed by Chief Justice Mushir Alam also directed the petitioners to file counter affidavit and reply, if any.

The hearing of case was put off to May 9.