Apex body plans new strategy for sustainable peace in Karachi

Source:  Dawn.com Published in Current Affairs on Friday, May 13, 2016

KARACHI: The Sindh Apex Committee has decided to develop a new strategy for sustainable peace in the city and strengthen the police force by inducting 20,000 more personnel, including 8,000 personnel in Karachi, who will be trained by the army.

Also, a special force comprising 2,000 ex-army personnel was being created for the security of the Chinese people working on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and on other projects, the committee was informed.

The committee meeting, which was presided over by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and attended by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, Corps Commander Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar, Rangers Director-General Maj Gen Bilal Akbar, IGP A.D. Khwaja and others, further decided to provide necessary facilities to Rangers checkpoints set up at Sindh-Balochistan and Sindh-Punjab borders and also to the personnel of other departments such as police, Anti-Narcotics Force, Excise, National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) for verification and checking of every individual and vehicle through electronic and digital equipment.

The apex committee also decided to help the Sindh police in getting federal government’s permission to acquire latest technology, strengthen the special branch, counter-terrorism department, training centres of police, provide police access to Nadra’s database related to criminals and their families, establish a forensic lab and install new closed-circuit television cameras.

Around 20,000 personnel to be inducted in police; special force comprising 2,000 ex-army soldiers being built for security of Chinese people

Earlier, a detailed presentation on law and order was given by the Rangers and police authorities by highlighting their performance, current issues and challenges before them.

The meeting was informed that there was at least 80 per cent reduction in targeted killing, kidnapping for ransom and extortion cases. It was told that when the operation against the Chhotu gang was launched in southern Punjab, the Rangers started extensive checking on the borders of Sindh-Punjab and Sindh-Balochistan by establishing checkpoints along the River Indus.

The committee noted that property prices in Karachi increased by 23 per cent, sales during the last Ramazan jumped to Rs70 billion, sales related to Independence Day celebrations reached Rs5 billion, while trade and industry was flourishing due to the improvement in law and order in the metropolis.

The chief minister informed the committee that six of the 10 new antiterrorism courts would be established in the central jail. The buildings would be ready by the mid of June and the courts would start functioning in July, he said, adding that the Sindh High Court had assured his law team that they would appoint judges for the 10 ATCs by then.

Also, he said, the government approved the appointment of 200 new prosecutors and on the committee’s insistence the chief minister directed the law minister to explore the provision of appointing them as soon as possible at least for initial six months as the Sindh Public Service Commission by that time would finalise their appointments on a merit basis.

The meeting gave a go-ahead to the police chief to upgrade their GSM of 2G locators to the level of 4G locators but the IGP said the federal government was reluctant to give them NOC for purchasing the 4G GSM locators. The chief minister, governor and corps commander assured him that they would use their good offices to equip the Sindh police with latest gadgets.

The IGP said the installation of new CCTV cameras of 10 mega-pixel would cost Rs1.76 billion. Finance Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said he would issue necessary directives to his department to arrange the funds for the purpose when the apex body allowed him to work out the issues with finance secretary under the guideline of chief secretary.

‘Ghost’ madressahs

The meeting was informed that 8,855 madressahs have been registered and the registration of 1,178 more madressahs was under way. During the registration, over 10,000 ‘ghost’ madressahs had been unearthed through physical verification.

Maj Gen Akbar informed the meeting that the Rangers had developed the National Action Plan (NAP) software which had consolidated database related to all places of worship, offices of non-governmental organizations, proclaimed offenders and other criminals in Larkana and Sukkur divisions. Similar software was being developed for Karachi and other parts of Sindh, he said, while offering the police to have access to their system for ready references.

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