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  • Dec 11th, 2018
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Provincial Apex Committee has decided to launch the Safe City Project within a specified area such as Red Zone, Shahrah-e-Faisal and entry-exit points of the city on pilot basis and then expand it. It was decided at the 23rd meeting of the committee which Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presided over at the CM House, here on Monday.

Corps Commander Karachi Lieutenant-General Humayun Saeed, Sindh Chief Secretary Syed Mumtaz Shah, Minister for Works Syed Nasir Shah, CM's Adviser on Law Murtaza Wahab, Home Secretary Kazi Kabir, Advocate General, DG Rangers Maj-Gen Mohammad Saeed, IGP Sindh Dr Kaleem Imam, Prosecutor General Sindh, Addl IGP CTD and provincial heads of intelligence agencies attended the meeting.

CM Murad Shah said the success story of Karachi Operation was so candid that they were discussing street crimes, socio-development and making the peace sustainable at the 23rd moot of the committee; otherwise, they used to discuss terrorism, mafias and gangsters.

Agenda included review of implementation status of the 22nd meeting, briefing on current security situation, review of National Action Plan (NAP), discussion on the investigation and prosecution of terrorism related cases. The four-hour meeting from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. discussed security of CPEC, non-CPEC projects, shrines, katcha, registration of seminaries and NGOs, etc.

Karachi Safe City: In the last meeting, it was decided that Karachi Safe City (KSC) Project be started afresh by hiring a consultant. An Advisory Committee and a Core Committee have been constituted, comprising of members from all relevant government departments, law enforcement agencies and representatives from civil society for devising a mechanism to streamline the KSC project.

DG Rangers Maj-Gen Mohammad Saeed said that the Safe City Project should not merely limit to installation of cameras but there must be proper system for its result-oriented running.

Corps Commander Lt-Gen Humayun Aziz said that when a safe city project is launched, cyber security is ensured and that point must be kept in mind while handing over the safe city project to any operator.

The chief minister said that the safe city is a project in which monitoring through HD CCTV cameras and rapid response to the eventualities is made. Therefore, in this project, police, traffic police, ambulance, medical aid responses would be ensured.

The Home Department was given go ahead to start the project by inviting interest from NADRA, Pakistan Army and Chinese firms. The CM said the work be awarded on merit to the best offer.

Sindh Home Secretary Kazi Kabir gave presentation on NAP and implementation of Apex Committee decisions. Madaris: On the decision of drafting law for registration and regulation of Madaris (religious seminaries), the meeting was told that on the directives of federal government a Provincial Working Group was formed. Home Secretary-led PWG comprises of representatives from Social Welfare, Industries, Religious Affairs, School & College Education departments, Member Board of Revenue, Addl IGP Special Branch, DIGP CTD and Joint Director of IB. The group has been tasked to regulate registration and conduct inspection of Madaris, NGOs/NPOs.

Corps Commander Karachi said that scrutiny of all the educational institutions operating under public and private sector must be conducted. He said the regulation and inspection of funds, their utilization and curriculum be conducted. "We have to scrutinize from where they {educational institutions] are getting funds and where and how they are utilizing, how many foreign students are enrolled there and what are their credentials and what is the quality of their curriculum," he recommended, urging that "we have to ensure best curriculum and proper usage of funds and enrolment of genuine foreign students."

The meeting decided that the audit, inspection and registration of all private institutions would be made. It was also decided that the madaris on the main roads would be requested to relocate them away from the main arteries and no new NOC would be issued for such constructions on main road.

Meeting was told that geo-tagging of all the 10,033 madaris have been completed. Out of 10,033 madaris, 2309 were closed and 7724 remain functional where 547,695 students were enrolled and among 818 foreigners.

Street Crime: The last apex committee moot had decided to introduce law reforms to control street crime. Therefore, a law was subsequently drafted and submitted to the law department for vetting and review. "The government is committed to eliminate street crime as it has busted gangs," the chief minister said, adding that targeted operation against the drug mafia, land-grab mafia and their patrons was going on in the city at its full pace.

DG Rangers in his presentation to the meeting said that since January 2017, 3641 criminals have been arrested and among them 43 percent were under- matriculation, 38 percent illiterate. He said 2851 street criminals were habitual criminals, 648 drug peddlers, 92 pick-pocketers and 50 gamblers. He said that since 2013, 15,611 operations have been conducted, 11490 persons were apprehended and handed over to the police.

The meeting decided to divide the street criminals in two separate groups, those who use pistol/gun in the crime and those who do the crime without gun. Those who use weapons would be tried in a court like ATC while the others would be tried by a special magistrate.

The chief minister directed the IG police to take extra ordinary measure to control street crime. "I am satisfied that today we are discussing street crime, otherwise we used to discuss terrorist incidents," he said, hastening to add: "But, this is not something to take pride of and this must be controlled."

Non-CPEC Projects: In the light of last Apex Committee meeting, an SOP for Non-CEPEC projects has been notified. There are 93 non-CPEC projects with a-952 workforce of foreigners. The law enforcement agencies have deployed a force of 2878 personnel which include district police, army, rangers, FC and private security guards.

CPEC: There are 10 CPEC projects in progress in Sindh where 2878 Chinese are working and 2843 security personnel have been deployed on their security. Apart from it, the CPEC projects have been provided 843 private security guards.

Security Audit of CPEC: The meeting was told that the Special Branch (Police) carried out security audit of CPEC projects and it report says private security guards hiring for the projects have not matched the numbers of personnel of District Police, SPU, Army, Rangers and FC. Even after three years, there remain discrepancies and deficiencies at almost all the CPEC project camps as far as security enablers are concerned. Similarly, ambulances and first aid kits were not available at various project camps, report says.

The apex committee decided to emphasize the management of all the CPEC projects to overcome the deficiencies regarding security equipment and security enablers. Appeals: In the light of last apex committee meeting it was decided that the appeals against the acquittals of hardened criminals/terrorists would be filed. Since three such acquittals have been made, appeals against three persons' acquittal would be filed. From now, there would be a close coordination between the prosecutor and investigators of terrorist incidents so that the acquittal could be controlled. The chief minister also directed the Prosecutor General to conduct training of the new prosecutors and develop close coordination with the Rangers prosecutor as well.

Border Force: Inspector General of Police Dr Kaleem Imam told the meeting that a police station with 69 checks posts have been established along Sindh-Balochistan inter-provincial border where 381-strong force deployed with 10 mobiles and bikes to patrol on the border. The chief Minister directed him to provide them latest equipment and increase the force, if necessary. Nomenclature Change: The Apex Committee was informed that the names of 62 institutes or buildings named after Altaf Hussain or his family members have been changed.

Security of Shrines: Home Secretary Kazi Kabir said that the security audit of all 1899 shrines/dargahs/churches/temples/Jamaat Khanas and gurdwaras have been conducted. Some security related weaknesses were pointed out to the Home and Auqaf departments. The chief minister said he has already released Rs270 million for purchase of necessary equipment and construction of the compound walls wherever they were required. He directed the P&D department to approve its PC-I so that work could begin. Otherwise, security arrangements of important shrines, churches, temples etc have been beefed.

The chief secretary was assigned to direct the commissioners and deputy commissioners to give due attention on the issue of the security of dargahs (shrines) et cetera et cetera and invoke the provision of the 'Sindh Security of Vulnerable Establishments Act 2015' for security of such shrines.

Katcha Area: IG Police told the meeting that in order improve law and order in katcha area, 110 police stations and 50 check posts have been established there with a force of 3112 policemen. They have been provided 87 mobiles and 33 motorcycles. It was decided that these police stations would further be equipped.

On the advice of Corps Commander, the chief minister approved a plan to develop connectivity of katcha area with pakka areas by constructing roads, bridges and providing them necessary facilities such as hospitals, schools. The chief minister, on the advice of the Apex Committee, decided that rehabilitation and development works would begin wherever operations against criminals have been conducted. This socio uplift would not only be made in the katcha area but also in Karachi.

NAP: On implementation of National Action Plan (NAP), the moot was told that the Military and Anti-Terrorism Courts have awarded death penalty to 23 and life imprisonment to two out of 119 terrorists. Sixteen terrorists have been executed so far while 137 appeals, including 18 of military courts and 119 of ATC, were pending in the high court. As many as 150 cases have been recommended for military courts; of them, 61 cases of 41 accused were being tried there.

IG Police said 27957 cases were under trial in Anti-Terrorism Courts (ATCs) of Sindh; of them, 24871 were old cases and 468 were fresh cases instituted between January 1 to 31 October 2018. He said 2618 cases have been transferred from other courts to ATC. He said 313 accused have been convicted and 1643 acquitted, 124 dismissed.

The IG said 2080 cases have been disposed, 690 transferred to other courts and 25187 were still pending there. The meeting also decided that there would be a crackdown on the purchase/sell of stolen or snatched mobiles, two-wheelers and four wheelers.

A mechanism was being devised to purchase or sell a mobile so that genuine business could not be affected. Later, CM's Adviser on Information Murtaza Wahab briefed the media on said decisions of the apex committee meeting.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2018

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