The Sindh inspector general of police claimed 70 per cent decline in target killing incidents since the launch of National Action Plan (NAP) and said it would go down further after augmentation of the counter-terrorism department in the province.
IGP AD Khawja said the performance of the counter-terrorism department (CTD), set up after the initiation of NAP, was up to the mark. However, he added that its further augmentation was necessary to bring improvements in security and counter-terrorism activities of the government.
The department would consist of some 1,500 personnel including 500 assistant sub-inspectors (ASIs) who would be recruited through the Sindh Public Service Commission, he said.
The IGP said these personnel would be imparted special training for which, he added, a separate training school was being established.
The IGP informed that the provincial government had 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.
AD Khawja maintained that recruitment in the Sindh police was being undertaken on merit through the 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 was of the view that a database of driving and arms licences should be developed on national level besides data of vehicles and seminaries (Madaris) for prompt verification of required information.
He opined that the provinces should not have any reservations to this effect as such data would contribute towards effective sharing of the required information.
AD Khawja was of the view that the data of NADRA (National Database and Registration Authority) should also be shared in a proper manner.
He maintained that “on our demand, the NADRA has agreed to provide such a data.” A biometric system in collaboration with the NADRA should be evolved to verify the arms licenses, he suggested.
Replying to a query, he pointed out that random tab on the immigrants resulted in arrest of some 2,812 illegal immigrants since the initiation of NAP.
About a question on the restriction of use of loud speaker, Khawja said that 2,115 cases had been registered and 1,336 accused were arrested over the violation of Sound System Act/Loud Speaker Act. As many as 126 cases had been registered in connection with hate speeches/hate materials and 88 accused were arrested under these charges, he added.
He informed that six arrests had been made on charges of terrorists financing. Total 182 arrests had been made in action under Temporary Residence Act, he added.
The IGP informed that 22,140 suspects had been arrested in 48,246 raids under combing operations/intelligence-based operations/raids conducted in the province with regard to the implementation of NAP. Action had also been initiated against 602 individuals placed on 4th Schedule, he added.
He said that 15,588 cases had been registered under the Arms Act/action against display of arms.
The IGP said a total 311 suspected terrorists had been killed – 233 were related to Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and 78 to sectarian outfits, adding that over 1,200 suspects had been arrested so far.
Replying to a question, he said since the start of NAP in September 2013, a total of 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 the law and order situation in Karachi had improved significantly due to effective actions by police and Rangers. However, he believed that there were still some areas where work has to be done.
“Substantial improvement is there in the wake of Karachi operation,” the IGP remarked, expressing commitment to bring further improvements.