The Sindh government and Chinese security authorities have agreed to work together to evolve a foolproof security mechanism for Chinese nationals working in the province on CPEC and non-CPEC projects.
This was decided at a meeting held on Saturday between Sindh Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput and Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs External Security Commissioner Cheng Gouping along with their respective teams.
The meeting, held against the backdrop of the University of Karachi terrorist incident, agreed to work out a comprehensive plan to provide security to the Chinese nationals working on non-CPEC projects, on the pattern of security systems developed for the CPEC-related projects.
The meeting was told that Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had already directed the provincial police to conduct a security audit of institutions and organisations where Chinese nationals were working under private arrangements.
The home department is collecting data of all the Chinese working in the province so that they could be brought under a proper security cover. For this purpose, the visiting delegation was also urged to help the provincial government to develop a comprehensive database of Chinese nationals, for which the delegation assured the provincial government of their full support.
The chief secretary, on behalf of the CM, told the Chinese delegation that their proposals, if any, for the foolproof security of Chinese nationals working in Sindh would also be incorporated in the new security plan being worked out at the national and provincial levels.
The chief secretary told the visiting team that the federal government had convened a meeting of the representatives of all the provincial governments in Islamabad next week to discuss the security of all the Chinese working in different provinces of the country.
The Chinese officials were also briefed on the progress made so far in the Karachi University incident. They were told that the day-to-day progress in the investigation of the case was being shared with the focal person that the Chinese authorities had nominated.
The Chinese delegation offered to strengthen the provincial police by providing them with important equipment and gadgets used for investigation and other policing purposes. The chief secretary thanked the Chinese government for their support.
The Chinese delegation thanked the Sindh CM for visiting the Chinese Consulate General in the city just after the Karachi University incident and offered condolences for the departed souls.
Safe City project
The Sindh government has said that it is going to roll out the Safe City project in Karachi from July 1 this year to maintain law and order in the city.
This was disclosed by Sindh Chief Secretary Dr Muhammad Sohail Rajput as he addressed a gathering of industrialists and businessmen of the city at the head office of the Korangi Association of Trade & Industry (KATI) on Saturday.
The CS said on the occasion that after becoming operational, the Safe City project will play an important role in lessening the security issues of Karachi.
He told the audience that contact has been established with the federal government for ensuring the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) and reactivating the National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) for improving the law and order situation in the city.
He said that the process of recruitment and training is under way to overcome the shortage of policemen in the entire Karachi. The CS told the concerned industrialists that an autonomous board will be constituted to manage the affairs of the Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB), with representation from the city’s businessmen.
He acknowledged that industrialists and traders of Karachi have been facing electricity, water and gas supply issues, and the availability of other essential civic services. He assured them that the provincial government has discussed these problems with the prime minister.
He said that the problems of the national economy can be lessened by increasing Pakistani exports, pointing out that Karachi has to play an important role in this regard.
He also said that in his latest visit to Karachi a day earlier, the PM had announced that the 17 per cent tax on solar energy products will end.
He further said that in his first visit to Karachi after becoming the country’s new chief executive, PM Shehbaz Sharif has announced his plan to implement a development package for the city. He said the PC-I document for this development package has been sent to the federal government.
Dr Rajput told the industrialists that the Sindh government wants to upgrade the civic infrastructure of all the industrial estates in the province. He said the Sindh government plans to adopt the method of public-private partnership for carrying out such development plans for the city.
KATI office-bearers said on the occasion that the Korangi Industrial Area (KIA) is spread over 10,000 acres, having 5,000 industrial units that employ around 1.8 million people. They said the industries in the Korangi area deposit Rs9 million in the national exchequer every day as revenue and taxes.
They pointed out that the industrialists of the area have been facing the issue of water shortage because the KWSB has been unable to discharge its duties efficiently.
They also pointed out that the Malir Expressway will prove to be a game-changer for the development and progress of the KIA.