- Sindh govt, Rangers to cooperate against officials involved in corruption cases, which are linked to the funding of criminal and terrorist activities
- Sindh info minister says 9,600 seminaries in Sindh, of which 6,500 are registered, vows action against seminaries brain washing people for terrorism
- Bilawal has first official meeting with the heads of key security institutions, expresses concern over raids conducted by Rangers at various Sindh departments
With the Sindh government being warned against ‘slow’ implementation of National Action Plan (NAP), Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon on Sunday made it clear that there will be zero tolerance for people who support terrorists as the provincial apex committee has agreed on continuing the operation against criminal elements in Karachi.
Talking to media personnel after conclusion of the apex committee meeting, Memon said the operation had significantly checked crime in the metropolis, adding that there was still a lot to achieve.
The minister said the meeting had decided to expedite action against banned outfits and to take to task those abetting and facilitating terrorists, including a few madrassas that are supporting radicalism.
“Banned outfits still exist in society, and we will take actions against them,” he said. “Those seminaries that train or brainwash people, will be cracked down upon.”
The registration of seminaries also came under discussion with officials being informed that there was a total 9,600 seminaries in Sindh, of which 6,500 were registered.
“This is the same figure that was presented in first meeting of the apex committee. We want to know what action has been taken against unregistered seminaries,” said an unconvinced Karachi Corps Commander Lieutenant General Naveed Mukhar to Sindh’s home secretary.
Memon agreed there were seminaries that spread knowledge but said seminaries involved in hate speech and preaching extremism will be brought to the book. “Elements misused by foreign enemies will also be apprehended soon,” he said. “We will eliminate terrorism from Sindh.”
Sindh has the least crime rate keeping view the population and number of terrorists in the past, added the information minister.
Responding to a question, Memon said the issue of Rangers’ powers in the city had not come under discussion, adding that the matter will be taken to the Sindh Assembly for a final decision.
Memon said the meeting also reviewed implementation of the NAP and lauded Rangers and police for their efforts in curbing extortion, kidnapping for ransom and other prevalent crimes in Karachi.
Earlier Sunday, the Sindh apex committee meeting, chaired by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, reviewed implementation of the NAP and the ongoing operation in the provincial capital.
The meeting was attended by Karachi Corps Commander Lieutenant General Naveed Mukhtar, Sindh Rangers Director General (DG) Major General Bilal Akbar, Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad and Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal among others. They agreed that the operation would continue as per the consultations held under the NAP.
An atmosphere of reconciliation prevailed while the stance of the Rangers was also presented during the meeting, according to which the paramilitary force is not acting against the provincial government rather it is only targeting those officials involved in corruption cases, which are linked to the funding of criminal and terrorist activities.
An increase in cooperation between Sindh Rangers and the provincial government was also agreed upon during the meeting. The participants of the meeting also agreed to improve intelligence-sharing between police and other law enforcement agencies.
BILAWAL MEETS MUKHTAR:
Prior to the apex committee meeting, a separate meeting was held at Chief Minister House between Karachi Corps Commander Lieutenant General Naveed Mukhtar, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Sindh Rangers DG Major General Bilal Akbar.
Sindh chief minister was present during the meeting but it was Bilawal’s first official meeting with the heads of key security institutions.
According to the CM House spokesperson, the law and order situation was discussed during the meeting.
While Bilawal expressed concern over raids conducted by Rangers at various government departments in Sindh, DG Rangers assured the PPP chairman of not taking unilateral action.
“All action will be taken with consultation of the Sindh government,” said Major General Bilal Akbar.
According to sources, General Mukhtar argued terrorists had taken shelter in Sindh government departments due to negligence of the provincial government, but was assured by Sindh CM of action against corrupt elements.
Speculation over the complex civilian-military equation in Sindh has been rife after PPP co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari made an impassioned speech in which he indirectly criticised some steps of the armed forces in the province.
The Karachi operation was initiated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in September 2013 to rid the metropolitan of criminal elements, irrespective of their political, ethnic or religious affiliation.
Further, in the wake of the Peshawar tragedy in December 2014, the NAP was approved by the entire political leadership to eliminate terrorism from the country.
The apex committees – headed by chief ministers of the provinces and comprising army officials and political leadership – were also formed in all the provinces for the implementation of the NAP.