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November 4, 2016

Madrasa students visiting war-torn countries to be watched


November 4, 2016

KARACHI: Sindh’s apex committee has decided to take the necessary measures, including preparing lists of madrasa students and other people who have been to war-torn Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan, to make peace in the province sustainable.

This and other important decisions were made on Thursday at the 17th meeting of the apex committee set up under the National Action Plan (NAP) aimed at eliminating terrorism from the country.

The huddle, chaired by Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah at the CM House, decided to compile a list of people, including seminary students, who had been to Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan, and had returned or were still there. The task was assigned to the additional inspector general of the Counter Terrorism Department, Sanaullah Abbasi. 

The meeting was informed that 93 madrasas accused of supporting terrorists had been put on a watch list, and their activities, visitors and funding were being monitored. 

Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, Karachi Corps Commander Lt General Naveed Mukhtar, government advisers Mola Bux Chandio and Murtaza Wahab, Chief Secretary Siddque Memon, Rangers Director General Major General Bilal Akbar, provincial police chief AD Khowaja, Karachi police chief Mushtaq Maher, CTD head Sanaullah Abbasi, the provincial heads of intelligence agencies, Home Secretary Shakeel Mangnijo, Prosecutor General Shahadat Awan and others attended.

Job not yet done

Chief Minister Shah said the ongoing targeted operation against terrorists, target killers, extortionists and kidnapers for ransom had produced encouraging results and broken the backs of organised criminals, mafias and terrorist outfits, but “it doesn’t mean that the target has been achieved”. 

Therefore, he said, it must be made sustainable, for which “we have to formulate strategy with collective wisdom”.

Street crime focus

The apex committee was told that criminals involved in street crime had no proper backing of any group or organisation and they were operating on their own. It was further observed that street crime was the nursery of major criminal activities; therefore it must be crushed right now.

It was also pointed out that those who had been bailed in cases of heinous crimes also indulged in street crime, and the number of criminals bailed for want of evidence was 1,400. 

The meeting was told that drug mafias were active in Karachi and sometimes they supported street crime and finance terrorist gangs to strengthen them. The areas where such gangs were operating were said have already been identified and the chief minister on the advice of the apex committee’s participants approved a crackdown against street crime.

  Fourth Schedule 

The apex committee also discussed details of people whose names had been put on Fourth Schedule, and decided that their security, if given, would be withdrawn and their activities monitored. 

Those who were on Fourth Schedule and also in government service would be given show-cause notices, and for this purpose the chief secretary would suggest the necessary measures or amendments for this purpose.

The meeting decided to share lists of persons on Fourth Schedule with other agencies, provinces and the federal government, but it said such people could file an appeal with the home department.

Aliens and POs

The meeting was informed that there were some 3,023 proclaimed offenders in the province. Prosecutor General Shahdat Awan was asked to share their lists with the Rangers, police, intelligence agencies, federal agencies and other provincial governments to ensure their arrests.

It was pointed out that illegal immigrants living in Sindh were a big issue. The AJK government had 15,000 aliens and it ousted them, the meeting said and decided to urge the federal government to give powers of registering FIRs against illegal immigrants to the Sindh Police, as currently such powers were with the FIA.

  Hiring cops

Inspector General of Police AD Khowaja said the selection of 8,000 policemen had been finalised through the National Testing Service through which ex-army officers were also inducted. 

He added that 4,000 newly recruited policemen were being sent to Risalpur for training, and when their training was completed, another 4,000 would be sent.

Karachi Corps Commander Lt General Naveed Mukhtar said he had made the necessary arrangements for the training of the newly recruited policemen. He added that he was handing over six APCs to the Sindh Police and 500 weapons.

IGP Khowaja said he needed 400 square yards to establish a forensic lab in Karachi. On this, the corps commander said he would talk to the DHA and try his best to arrange a piece of land for the purpose.

The meeting unanimously applauded the efforts of the Rangers, police and intelligence agencies for restoring peace in the city.   

Sub-national groups

The apex committee was told that the sub-national groups were also involved in criminal activities and those working for terrorists would be taken to task. The Rangers and police were assigned to conduct joint operations against them.

Rangers chief Major general Bilal Akbar briefed the meeting about the performance of the paramilitary force and their targeted operations. 

He said the Rangers had established well-equipped check posts at the Sassui Bridge near Ghaggar and on the Sindh-Punjab border at Kot Sabzal, while a check post in Hub was under construction. 

The Rangers checked vehicles passing through the check posts and monitored them through the command & control centre established at their headquarters.

Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad said the CCTV cameras installed all over the city must be upgraded. He said this was the only way to monitor the entire city. On this, the chief secretary said upgradation of the cameras and installation of new ones were in progress.Technical works like tenders or specification had been done and 10,000 cameras of 12 mega pixels would be installed in city, he said.

The chief minister said he would extend all kinds of support to the law enforcement agencies. “Funds are not an issue; it is my job to arrange funds, but you have to make this city one of the peaceful cities of the world.”

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