KARACHI   -  Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the success story of Karachi operation was so candid that today we are discussing street crime, socio-development and making the peace sustainable in the apex committee otherwise we used to discuss terrorism, mafias and gangs operation.

This he said while presiding over 23rd Apex Committee meeting here at the CM House. The meeting was attended by Corps Commander Karachi Lt General Humayun Aziz, Chief Secretary Sindh Syed Mumtaz Shah, Minister for Works Syed Nasir Shah, CM Advisor on law Murtaza Wahab, Advocate General Sindh, DG Rangers Major General Mohammad Saeed, IG Sindh Dr Kaleem Imam, Home Secretary Kazi Kabir, Prosecutor General Sindh,  Adl IG CTD and provincial heads of intelligence agencies.

The agenda of the meeting was to review implementation status of 22nd Apex Committee meeting, briefing on current security situation, review of National Action Plan, discussion on the investigation and prosecution of anti-terrorism cases. The meeting started at 10am and concluded at 2pm. In this four hour long meeting important discussions and decisions were taken.

In the meeting Home Secretary Kazi Kabir gave presentation on national Action Plan and implementation of apex committee decisions, the IG Police gave presentation on overall law & order situation and DG Rangers briefed the meeting on targeted operation. The meeting was unique in the sense that instead of discussing terrorism incidents, except Chinese Consulate attack and blast at Quaidabad socio uplift was discussed threadbare.

Home Secretary Kazi Kabir briefed the meeting about overall apex committee decisions and implementation. His presentation was on the points as follows:

Street Crime: The last apex committee had decided to introduce law reforms to control street crime. In the light of that decision a law has been drafted and submitted to the law department for vetting & review. “The government is committed to eliminate street crime as it has busted gangs,” the chief minister said and added that targeted operation against the drug mafia, land mafia and their patrons was going on in the city at its full pace.

Rangers DG Major General Mohammad Saeed giving presentation on street crime said that since January 2017, 3641 criminals have been arrested. He gave interesting overview that 43 percent of the street criminals were under matric, 38 percent illiterate. He said that 2851 street criminals were habitual criminal, 648 drug peddlers, 92 pick pocketers and 50 gamblers.

The Rangers DG, talking about operations and apprehensions 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 adopt extra ordinary measure to control street crime. “I satisfied that today we are discussing street crime in apex committee, otherwise we used to discuss terrorist incidents,” he said but this is not something to be pride of,” he said and added this must be controlled.

Madaris: On the decision of drafting law for registration and regulation of madaris, the meeting was told that in pursuant of the directions of federal government a ‘Provincial Working Group’ has been constituted under the chairmanship of Home Secretary and comprising head and representatives of the relevant departments such as social welfare, industries, religious affairs, school & college education, Member Board of Revenue, Adl IG Special Branch, DIG CTD, Joint Director of IB. The group has been tasked to regulate registration and conduct inspection of not only madaris but also regulate and inspect NGOs/NPOs.

Corps Commander Karachi Lt General Humayun Aziz said that scrutiny of all the educational institutions operating under public and private sector must be conducted. He said that the regulation and inspection of funds, their utilisation and curriculum be conducted. “We have to scrutinise from where they {educational institutions] are getting funds and where and how they are utilising, how many foreign students are enrolled there and what are their credentials and what is the quality of their curriculum?” he asked.

The meeting decided that the audit, inspection and registration of all private institution would be made.

The meeting also decided that the madaris constructed on the main roads would be requested to relocate them away from the main arteries. However, no new NOC would be issued for new madris proposed to be constructed on the main road.

The apex was told that geo tagging of all the 10,033 madaris had been completed. It was pointed out that out of 10,033 madaris, 2309 were closed and 7,724 functional where 547,695 students were enrolled, including 818 foreigners.

Karachi Safe City: In the last meeting a decision was taken to restart the Karachi Safe City (KSC) Project afresh by hiring a consultant for the project.  The chief secretary told the meeting that KSC project has been terminated from Public Private Partnership (PPP) modality in the 26th meeting of PPP Policy Board held on October 10, 2018. Therefore, an Advisory Committee & Core Committee have been constituted comprising members from amongst all relevant government departments, law enforcement agencies, representatives of civil society for devising a mechanism to stream line the KSC project.

Rangers DG Major General Mohammad Saeed said that the Safe City Project should be not mere installation of cameras but there should be proper system be made in place. Corps Commander Lt General Humayun Aziz said that when a safe city project was launched cyber security was ensured. Therefore, cyber security must be kept in mind while handing over the safe city project to any operator.

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

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.  On their security 2843 security personnel have been deployed on their security. Apart from government security the CPEC projects have been provided 843 private security guards.

Security Audit of CPEC: The meeting was told that the Special Branch carried out security audit of CPEC projects. The audit report says the projects have not hired private security guards matching in numbers with persons of LEAs, District Police, SPU, Army, Rangers and FC which court 2829. They have hired only 843. Despite a lapse of three years, still there were discrepancies and deficiencies at almost all the CPEC project camps as far as security enablers were concerned.  Similarly, ambulances and first aid kits were not available at various project camps.

Appeals: In the light of last apex committee meeting it was decided that the appeals against the acquittals of hardened criminals/terrorists appeals would be filed. The meeting decided that three persons have been acquitted, therefore appeals would be filed against them. Onward, there would be a close coordination between the prosecutor, 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.

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 border where a force of 381 police personnel were deployed. They have been provided 10 mobiles and bikes to patrol on the border. The chief Minister directed IG police to provide them latest equipment and increase the force, if necessary.

Nomenclature Change: The 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. Where there were some security weaknesses have been pointed out to the home and Auqaf Departments. The chief minister said that he has already released Rs270 million for purchase of necessary equipment and construction of the compound walls wherever they were required.

Katcha Area: IG Police Dr Kaleem Imam told the meeting that in order improve law & order in katcha area some 110 police stations and 50 check posts have been established there with a force of 3112 policemen. These police stations 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 Karachi Lt General Humayun Aziz, the chief minister approved a plan to develop connectivity of katcha area with settled areas by constructing roads, bridges and providing them necessary facilities such as hospital, schools.

The chief minister on the advice of the committee decided that rehabilitation and development works would be started wherever operations against criminals have been conducted. This socio uplift would not only be made in the katcha area but it would be made in the city of Karachi.

NAP: The implementation of National Action Plan (NAP) was also discussed and disclosed that out of 119 terrorists, the military and anti-terrorism courts have awarded death penalty to 23 and two have been awarded life imprisonment. The meeting was told that 16 terrorists have been executed so far while 137 appeals including 18 of military courts and 119 of ATC were pending in the high court. It was also disclosed that 150 cases have been recommended for Military courts, of them 61 cases of 41 accused were being tried there.

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

The IG said that 2080 cases have been disposed of and 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.