The Sindh Police is raising a new unit of 1500 personnel in the Counter-Terrorism Department that was set up after the initiation of the National Action Plan (NAP).
In an interview with APP Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP), A.D. Khawaja pointed out that the new unit is aimed at bringing further improvements in the Counter-Terrorism Department which have performed well so far. The unit will include 500 Assistant Sub-Inspectors (ASIs) who will be inducted through the Sindh Public Service Commission, he added.
A separate school is being established for imparting anti-terrorism training to selected manpower, the IGP disclosed.
He also informed that the provincial government has allocated Rs. 320 million this year for revamping Sindh Police’s Special Branch. “We are working zealously to make the Special Branch an active unit to perform intelligence gathering in an effective manner”, he remarked.
A.D. Khawaja maintained that recruitment in the Sindh Police is being undertaken on merit through National Testing Service (NTS). “These steps are aimed at building up this force in order to gear this up to effectively tackle the menace of terrorism,” the IGP said.
He suggested that there should be a national data regarding driving as well as arms licenses, data of vehicles and that of seminaries (Madaris) for prompt verification of required information.
Furthermore, the provinces should not have any reservations to this effect, as such data would contribute towards effective sharing of required information.
A.D. Khawaja was of the view that the data of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) should also be shared in a proper manner.
He added that “on our urging the NADRA has agreed to provide such a data”.
The IGP suggested the introduction of a biometric system in collaboration with the NADRA for checking arms licenses.
Answering a question, he pointed out that the police have been taking action against illegal immigrants from time to time. He informed that 2,812 illegal immigrants have been arrested since the initiation of the NAP.
Replying to another query, A.D. Khawaja said that 2,115 cases have been registered and 1336 accused arrested over the violation of Sound System Act/Loud Speaker Act. While 126 cases have been registered in connection with hate speeches/hate materials and 88 accused arrested, he added.
He further said that six arrests have been made on charges of terrorist financing. In all, 182 arrests have been made in an action under Temporary Residence Act, he added.
The IGP informed that 22,140 suspects have been arrested in 48,246 raids under combing operations/intelligence-based operations/raids conducted in the province with regard to the implementation of the NAP. Action has been initiated against 602 individuals placed on 4th Schedule, he added.
He said that 15,588 cases have been registered under the Arms Act/action against the display of arms.
The IGP said that a total 311 suspected terrorists have been killed. 233 were related to TTP and 78 to sectarian outfits, adding that over 1, 200 suspects have been arrested.
About the progress of Karachi operation, the IGP pointed out that target killing incidents have declined by 70 per cent since the start of the action in September 2013, as 442 such incidents had been reported in the past 35 months as compared to 1,227 target killing incidents recorded in the corresponding period before the operation.
Similarly, he said, the incidents of terrorism came down from 77 to 54; incidents of murders declined from 6, 836 to 3, 989 and kidnapping for ransom incidents decreased from 274 to 183. Moreover, extortion cases also reduced substantially, he added.
The IGP said that law and order situation in Karachi has improved significantly due to effective actions by police and Rangers. However, he believed that there are still some areas where work is required to be done.
“Substantial improvement is there in the wake of Karachi Operation,” the IGP remarked, expressing commitment to bring further improvements.
He suggested that laws should be framed regarding Madaris.