Murad directs LEAs to beef up security in wake of ‘Afghan war’ spillover effects

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KARACHI, Jul 29 (APP):Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday directed the police and other law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to beef up security and enhance the coordinated intelligence work in the wake of expected spillover effects of the ‘civil war’ in Afghanistan.

Advancement of the Taliban in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of United States troops would likely to rise insurgency there, which might affect Pakistan, particularly Karachi in terms of terrorism and influx of illegal immigrants and for that “we have to be prepared,” he said while presiding over the Apex Committee meeting.

The committee, while reviewing major crimes in the province during 2021, observed that terrorist, target killing and kidnapping for ransom incidents had almost come to an end, but murders and extortion cases had increased by 25 percent and 65 percent respectively as compared to 2020.

It was noted that the rise in extortion and killing incidents was the result of operation in Katcha area, and personal enmities and disputes.

The meeting was attended by Sindh Minister for Local Government Nasir Shah, Advisor Law Murtaza Wahab, Corps Commander Karachi Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Maher, Director General Rangers Major Gen Iftikhar Hussain, Prosecutor General Fiaz Shah, Commissioner Karachi Naveed Shaikh, ACS Home Qazi Shahid Pervez, Adl IG Special Branch Ghulam Nabi Memon, Adl IG karachi Imran Minhas, provincial heads of different agencies and other officers concerned.

Additional IG Special Branch Ghulam Nabi Memon told the meeting that the clashes between the Taliban and the Afghan government might bring illegal immigrants to the province, particularly in Karachi and likely to rise criminal activities for generating funds to meet their requirements.

The chief minister directed the law enforcement agencies to speed up their targeted operation against the terrorists. He said an eagle eye might be set on the banned outfits and their activities.

It was decided to enhance security everywhere in Sindh and improve sectarian harmony by meeting with Ulema.

The chief minister decided to revamp the intelligence set-up of Special Branch and directed the IG police to enhance level of preparedness.

It was pointed out that the attacks on law enforcement agencies have come down from 15 in 2020 to three in 2021.

The IG Police said that in 2021(up to July 15) in Karachi 254 persons were murdered, of them 126 cases had been detected by arresting 161 accused. He pointed out that no political, ethnical or sectarian target killing was reported, as most of the murders were committed due to personal enmity.

The meeting was informed that during 2021, 28 cases of kidnapping for ransom were reported, of them 12 were genuine ones. The police arrested 36 accused and three were killed in encounters.

Talking about extortion, the IGP said during 2021, upto July 15, 74 cases of extortion were reported, 62 of them had been worked out, while four extortionists were killed and 94 arrested.

He said during the investigation it was revealed that 12 gangs had committed 12 extortion cases and some of them had been busted.

The meeting was informed that on average monthly street crime incidents reported in the city were recorded at 2,039.4, which showed 67.6 cases daily. On average 16.9 four-wheelers were being snatched in the city every month, while four-wheeler monthly theft was recorded at 129.7 and 4.3 vehicles daily. The monthly two-wheeler recorded at 3501.7.

Additional IG Karachi Imran Minhas said some 3,181 incidents of street crime were reported up to July 15, 2021.

Giving performance of the city police during 2021, he said that 189 encounters with criminals were held, 25 criminals were arrested, 607 criminals arrested red-handed, 982 criminals involved in robberies arrested, 2631 involved in vehicles snatching/theft rounded up and 3,735 deafferent kind of illicit weapons were recovered.

The chief minister directed Additional IG Karachi to take strict action against street crime. “You have to mobilize you police stations strongly,” he directed the city police.

The meeting was briefed that under the Safe City project, some 10,000 high-definition cameras or a complete Surveillance System would be installed in the city. The meeting was briefed that in compliance of 24rth Apex Committee directions project inception report, technical viability assessment report, bidding documents, PC-1, survey report and control room survey were handed over to M/s NRTC.

The cabinet approved the proposal of engaging M/s NRTC and a MoU was signed with between Safe City Project Authority and M/s NRTC. The NRTC had submitted Rs 29.67 billion cost of project which was Rs 5.907 billion higher than the cost approved in the PC-I.
The chief minister said he had already allocated Rs 6 billion for the project and it had been delayed for one or the other reason. He constituted a committee comprising technical experts of Pak Army, Police, P&D and some members from the private sector to evaluate the financial proposal of the NRTC and submit their report within six weeks so that project could be started.

The meeting was informed that tribal feuds such as Sabozai- Chachar in Kashmore claimed 12 lives on May 15, 2021 and Teghani-Bijarani in Shikarpur district so far 26 lives, and various others were becoming nurseries of breeding outlaws and dacoits. The chief minister said political influence would be used to bring an end to tribal feuds. However, police and district administration should keep its work to stop tribal clashes, he added.
The IG Police said that during 2021, some 89 encounters were conducted in Ghotki, 75 in Sukkur, 73 Kashmore and 68 Shikarpur and busted 49 gangs and killed 16 dacoits, nine in Sukkur, four in Kashmore and three in Shikarpur and recovered 83 kidnappees and arrested 42 kidnappers.

The meeting was informed that 583 dacoits/criminals were arrested in the on-going operation in the Katcha area.

It was further informed that there were some challenges such as uninterrupted supply of arms and ammunition (higher grade) to the criminals, ineffective system to check the movement of criminals across the river/water bodies due to absence of police, new trends of kidnapping of enticement through female voice, flooding of operational area in Katcha by mid-July and emerging collusion of banned organizations with dacoits of teh Katcha rea.
At this, the chief minister directed the IG Police to prepare a plan to create a Riverine Police. Meanwhile, he directed Minister Nasir Shah to work out a detailed plan for construction of approaching roads right from under-construction Kandhkot-Ghotki bridge to the villages of Katcha area.

Murad directed all the law enforcement agencies to develop strong coordination to bust the nexus of banned outfits with the dacoits. “This is a new and emerging threat, and it has to be dealt with iron hands.”

ACS Home Qazi Shahid Pervez informed the meeting that his department was actively working on registering private security guards working in private agencies.

The chief minister directed IG Police to start taking action against unregistered vehicles loaded with unregistered private guards moving in the city by displaying weapons.
“We have already banned display of weapons in the province and I have noticed that most of the private guards carrying weapons are sitting at the gates of bungalows in the city,” he said and directed IG Police to take action against them.

On the recommendation of the IG Police, the chief minister banned rallies, protests, sit-in demonstrations and assembly of persons at 11 specific points of Karachi and arterial highways, railway tracks and their adjacent areas, inter-city busy terminals and major road through the province.

The ACS Home said he had already issued a notification to impose Section 144 for 60 days.
The chief minister directed IG Police to issue necessary instructions to the police to provide protection to the minorities. “They have equal rights in the country and he would not tolerate if any highhandedness was committed with the minorities.”

He said crimes against women and children were intolerable, which must be curbed. Those, who had been arrested in killing a woman or raping a child must be brought to the book by pursuing their cases in the court of law, he added.