KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the Afghan war was imposed by a dictator on Pakistan which badly affected socio-political system of the country.

He was talking to Pakistan Media Club, a body of TV anchors and producers who called on him here at the CM House on Friday. Information Minister Syed Nasir Shah, MPAs, Saeed Ghani, Dr Mahesh Malani and Chairman P&D Mohammad Waseem, Secretary Energy Agha Wasif and Secretary Information Imran Atta Soomro also attended the meeting.

The chief minister said that the Afghan war was a turning point in the peaceful history of the country. This war brought heaps of weapons in the Pakistan, particularly in the city. It was the war which turned an open-minded segment of the society fanatic. 

“The criminal elements emerged because weapons were easily available and they managed to enter in political system,” he said and added this trend caused serious damage to the politics apart from destroying a peaceful, business-oriented culture of the country.

The chief minister said that the different police operations were launched against the criminals in the city but the criminals had patronage and they killed each and every policeman in a target who had participated in the operation. “In this way more than 150 policemen were killed by the criminals in the city,” he said and added that this killing badly damaged the morale of the police.

PPP inherited the worst law and order situation when it came into power. “We tried to purge the politics of criminal elements but things went from bad to worse,” he said and added “ultimately a targeted operation was launched in which police Rangers and intelligence organisations worked hard and achieved the desired results,” he said.

The chief minister said that meanwhile the provincial government enhanced the salaries of the police, imparted them best trainings, made recruitment purely on merit and enhanced the compensation amount for a killed policeman substantially. “We have also strengthened them with latest weapons, vehicles and other gadgets,” he said and added “now the police of the city is morally on high grounds. Replying to a question, he said that Rangers would stay in Sindh, particularly in the city till the police are made capable of dealing the situation on their own. “We are further strengthening them,” he said.

Talking about coal mining, the chief minister said that Shaheed Benazir Bhutto had started mining projects during her tenure but just after removing her government the successive government scraped all the agreement her government had made with investors/experts. The situation degenerated to such an extent that when the Sindh government in 2010 invited international tenders for coal mining in Thar but not a single party participated. “Finally we decided to form a company in partnership with Engro. The company was formed with 54 percent share of the provincial government,” he said and added the company started its work and the provincial government focused on the development of the infrastructure of Thar.

He said that today more 50 percent work of the mining has been completed while about 60 percent of the work of power plant has been achieved. “Now, the international firms are in the queue to invest in Thar,” he said proudly and added that it was the sign of the credibility the provincial government has earned in the international markets.

The chief minister said that the important roads of Karachi have been reconstructed. “We have constructed some underpasses and flyovers. The Shahrah-i-Faisal, Tariq Road, University Road and various other important roads give an excellent look,” he said and added Karachi would be a most developed city of the country shortly, he vowed.

Talking about his government efforts in health sector, Syed Murad Ali Shah said that when the provincial government has taken over JPMC under 18th amendment its budget was Rs700 million now it has reached to Rs5.8 billion. Similarly, the NICVD, the SIUT and various other hospitals have been upgraded in terms of equipments, infrastructure, budget and top of it the efficiency.

Syed Murad Ali Shah proudly said that the Sindh government is the only provincial government which has made bridges on River Indus. “We have done a wonderful job in public private partnership such as roads, bridges, hospitals and powers plants and I am going to do more in the PPP mode,” he said.