Thursday September 29, 2022

Anticipated Afghan blowback on Karachi: CM orders targeted operation against terrorists

By Our Correspondent
July 30, 2021

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, while presiding over the 26th meeting of the provincial Apex Committee on Thursday, directed a targeted operation against terrorists and told the police and other law-enforcement agencies to beef up security and enhance the coordinated intelligence work so that fallout of civil war in Afghanistan could be managed.

“The insurgency in Afghanistan may affect Pakistan, particularly Karachi, in terms of terrorism and influx of illegal immigrants, therefore, we have to be prepared to control the situation,” warned the CM. The Apex Committee observed that the incidents of terrorism, target killings and kidnappings for ransom have almost come to an end, but murders and extortion incidents have increased by 25 per cent and 65 per cent respectively.

The Additional IGP, Special Branch of Police, Ghulam Nabi Memon, told the meeting that illegal immigrants might end up in the province, particularly in Karachi as the security situation in Afghanistan destabilizes further. He also expected a rise in criminal activities in Karachi for generating funds.

The CM directed the law-enforcement agencies to speed up their targeted operation against the terrorists and stronger vigilance against banned outfits and their activities. It was decided to enhance security everywhere and improve sectarian harmony by holding meetings with Ulema. The CM decided to revamp the intelligence set-up of the Special branch and directed IG police to enhance its preparedness. It was pointed out that the attacks on law-enforcement agencies have also dropped.

Briefing the Apex committee, the IG police said that in 2021(up to July 15) 254 persons were murdered due to personal enmities, of them 126 cases were resolved. He clarified that none of them were political, ethnic or sectarian target killings.

The meeting was told that during the current year only 28 cases of kidnapping for ransom were reported. Police arrested 36 accused, while three were killed in the encounters. On extortion, the IGP said up to July 15, 74 cases of extortion were reported, of them 62 were resolved, with killing of four extortionists and 94 ended up being arrested.

Referring to street crimes, the Additional IG Karachi Imran Yaqoob Minhas said that 3,181 incidents of street crime were reported up to July 15, 2021. He said in 189 encounters, over 1000 criminals were arrested and different weapons were recovered. The CM directed Additional IG Karachi to take strict action against the incident by mobilizing police stations. Once again for the umpteenth time on the recurring demand of the security agencies and police, the Apex Committee decided to install 10,000 high-definition cameras for city surveillance for which the CM said he had already allocated Rs6 billion but the project has been delayed for one or the other reason. Another committee was constituted comprising technical experts to evaluate the financial proposal of the NRTC and submit a report within six weeks. Regarding the increasing number of robberies in riverine areas of the province, the IG Police stated that 583 dacoits/criminals were arrested, 16 killed in Ghotki, Sukkur, Kashmore and Shikarpur, while 83 kidnapped victims were recovered. IGP Sindh Mushtaq Mehr highlighted the collusion of dacoits with terrorist organizations, uninterrupted supply of military grade arms and ammunition and absence of riverine police as major challenges hindering an effective action against them. Shah directed all the law-enforcement agencies to develop strong coordination to neutralise the nexus between banned outfits and dacoits. "This is a new and emerging threat, and it has to be dealt with strongly," the CM directed. He also directed IG Police to prepare a plan to create a Riverine Police and directed the relevant minister to work out a plan for construction of roads right from under-construction Kandhkot-Ghotki bridge to the villages of riverine area, which have long been neglected and kept being put off.