Solomon Star

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Feb. 11, 2008) - So controversial Police Commissioner Jahir Khan is going. It is something that was bound to happen.

For while the man from Fiji is better than his critics credit, he is too closely linked to the Sogavare era.

He was seen by many as a political appointment pushed through by then Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare.

And many perceived – rightly or not – that some of his actions during the Sogavare era were politically motivated.

Commissioner Khan is no incompetent. He is a professional police officer of great experience.

He rose through the ranks back in the days when Fiji still had one of the best police forces in the South Pacific.

His support here for initiatives like community policing and improved conditions for local officers deserves recognition. So do his efforts to reduce crime.

But the leader of our police force cannot carry the political baggage that Commissioner Khan unfortunately does – rightly or wrongly. He does not have the confidence of the new Government.

Our Police Commissioner must be seen to be independent, impartial.

He or she must be seen to be fearlessly serving the people, not perhaps political masters.

No matter how good he is and no matter how unfair it might be, Commissioner Khan has been tainted by the Sogavare era.

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