Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has said that the country is in a state of war and we are fighting against terrorism with national unity and valour.
The performance of police department, specially the Special Branch and Counter Terrorism Department is worth mentioning, therefore their revamping is the need of the hour to make them more effective and strong, he added.
This he said while presiding over a meeting regarding revamping and strengthening Special Branch and Counter Terrorism Department here at the CM House on Friday. The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, Nisar Khuhro, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Sohail Siyal, Murtaza Wahab, IG Ghulam Hyder Jamali, Home Secretary Jamal Mustafa Shah, Secretary Finance Sohail Rajput and others.
Additional IG Special Branch A D Khwaja said that the functions of Special Branch includes intelligence, surveillance, security, verification of government officials, security companies, pre-visa verifications of Indian, airport entry passes, security audit, foreigners registration and technical assistance and bomb disposal.
He said that presently, manual system of reporting exists in the branch and there is absence of central data bank, poorly maintained manual record keeping, large inventory of dysfunctional security equipment, in effective canine unit, lack of specialized intelligence training facilities and depleted office infrastructure and equipment.
Talking about major areas of revamping plan, the Additional IG stressed automation, automation of foreigners’ registration section, up-gradation of bomb disposal unit, up-gradation of Canine unit, establishment of intelligence school and improvement of infrastructure.
Khwaja said that under his automation plan, there would be a centralised data base at HQ and all field units to be connected with it and there would be online sharing of information, reporting and digital archiving of data.
To a query of the chief minister, Mr Khawaja said that 40 data entry operators were required to run the proposed network with one network engineer. “The positions are vacant in special branch but the nomenclature of the positions and posts is to be changed,” he said. The chief minister approved the proposal.
He also said that revamping of Foreigners Registration Section (FRS) and automation of registration process were need of the hour. All the district offices are to be connected with the headquarters. On this the chief minister said that he has already directed the IGP to provide Rs10 million to Special Branch for the purpose.
Briefing the meeting on Bomb Disposal Unit, Khwaja said that its main job was to identify, detect, diffuse and safely dispose of explosives. This unit also conducts technical sweeping and gives expert report regarding bomb blasts and seized explosives.” Therefore, we have to purchase new state of the art equipment, provision of additional equipment to the unit at Hyderabad, Sakhar, Mirpurkhas and Larkana and up-gradation of the bomb disposal unit’s store and creation of post blast investigation unit.
He said that Rs20 million were required for the Bomb Disposal Unit revamping. The chief minister directed the home department to move a summary for re-appropriation of funds so that BDU could be revamped on the latest pattern.
Qaim Ali Shah asked the Additional IG about the usage of bomb disposal equipment, bomb disposal vehicles donated by USA and UK to Sindh police. Khawaja said that those vehicles and equipment have been taken over by Ministry of Interior. On this the chief minister showed surprise and asked Senior Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to take up the issue with the Ministry of Interior and get the equipment and vehicles released.
Briefing the chief minister on upgradation of Canine unit, Mr Khwaja said that its assists Bomb Disposal teams, sweeping and searching of places of visit of VVIPs/VIPs and events of national importance. “This unit was established in 2010 with 14 dogs but presently only six dogs are available which are not enough,” he said and added that 20 additional dogs were required.
He said that the dogs would be purchased from Pakistan Army Dog Centre. For the purpose trained staff was required. “We also want to establish training facility and breeding centre for the police department,” he said. The chief minister approved the project and directed IG Ghulam Hyder Jamali to establish Canine Unit at every divisional headquarters. “You move a summary I would provide you necessary staff and funds,” he said.
The Additional IG also proposed to establish a School of Intelligence. “This school would be great importance for training modules on intelligence gathering and covert operations will be imparted on modern techniques,” he said. The chief minister approving the project in the next budget and said that close coordination with Army intelligence facilities and training academy of Intelligence Bureau be established.