KARACHI- Sindh Prison and Anti-Corruption Minister Manzoor Hussain Wasan on Tuesday said the provincial government has planned to relocate Karachi Central Jail to Super Highway near Nooriabad, a town of Jamshoro district. The decision was taken after Rangers foiled a terror bid to release notorious terrorists and discovered a 40-metre-long tunnel at the neighborhood near the prison.

Addressing the media after presiding over a meeting at the home department, he said the government was expanding investigation into the failed jailbreak attempt. Jihadist elements and the policemen at the prison would also be brought into the investigation net.  He said Ghousia Colony, where the militants bought a house and dug a tunnel to release their comrades, was not known as a hotbed of militants, however, their presence in the vicinity for the last four months had raised serious concerns over the scrutiny of the area. He said Ghousia Colony was an illegal Kutchi Abadi which was later leased by the government and construction of more than one floor was not allowed in the area. “Government has decided to raze more than one floor in the colony,” he said.

Wasan said notorious criminals of various organisations were present in Karachi, Sukkur and Hyderabad jails. A grand search operation would be launched in their surroundings to avoid any untoward incident.  He said the provincial government was mulling over to shift criminals from various terror outfits to jails in other provinces.

Meanwhile, six deputy superintendents of jails (BPS-17) were promoted in BPS-18 as superintendent of jails. The decision was taken in a meeting presided over by Home Secretary Niaz Ali Abbasi at the home department after reviewing their performances.  The meeting was also attended by Sindh Jails IG Nusrat Hussain Mangan, Home Department Special Secretary Dr Nawaz Shaikh and SGA&CD additional secretary Rafique Sheikh. Those who were promoted included Mumtaz Awan, Mumtaz Ahmed Raja, Mansoor Ahmed, Ziaur Rehman, Anwar Mustafa and Khalid Pervez.

Wasan said there were 25 prisons in the province and the construction of three new were continuing but the relevant officers needed for them were not available.

“It was decided by the home secretary and other officials that jail department officers who deserved promotion should get it in order to fill the vacancies,” he said, adding the promotion of officers in BPS-14 to 16 was also in line.

Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has said that the matters pertaining to natural resources should be settled as per the 18th amendment in the constitution to avoid any sort of confusion.

He was presiding over a meeting regarding divestment of 10 per cent share of Oil and Gas Development Company limited (OGDCL) at the CM House here on Tuesday.

Adviser to CM for Finance Murad Ali Shah, Sindh Chief Secretary Sajjad Saleem Hotiana, Principal Secretary to CM Alumdin Bullo, Energy Secretary Agha Wasif, Finance Secretary Sohail Rajput, Law Secretary Mir Sheikh, additional advocate general and other officers attended the meeting.     

The participants discussed the federal government move for divestment of 10 per cent share of OGDCL and status of prevailing litigation on the issue in detail. It was decided that Sindh government would follow the constitution to get further clear interpretation from senior lawyer about its partnership before playing its role in litigation.

The meeting was informed that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had challenged the divestment move of federal government in the High Court and subsequently got the stay order on divestment proceeding. The federal government has challenged the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa petition in the apex court and the matter was yet to be decided.