KARACHI - The apex committee in its 21st meeting held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has approved to send 28 terrorism-related cases to military courts and also discussed and decided some important issues like street crime , land grabbing, ghost employees and others.

The meeting was attended by provincial ministers, Nisra Khuhro, Sohail Anwar Siyal, Syed Nasir Shah, Ziaul Hassan Lanjar, Corps Commander Karachi Lt Gen Shahid Beg Mirza, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, DG Rangers Major General Mohammad Saeed, IG Sindh AD Khowaja, Home secretary Qazi SHahid Parvaiz, Adl IGs, Karachi, CTD, Special Branch, provincial head of intelligence agencies and other concerned.

The meeting was informed that the Interior Ministry has approved 10 cases to try in the military court and the Legal Committee of Apex Committee Sindh has recommended another 28 cases for military courts. The apex committee approved them and directed home department to send them to the military courts. It may be noted that the legal committee has held so far 16 meetings and have recommended 106 cases for their trial in military courts. Presently 38 cases with 29 accused are being tried in the military courts. The military courts have convicted 23 and awarded death penalty to 21 accused, life imprisonment to two, returned three cases to ATC and one is pending in the military court.

The meeting was also told that the ATC since start of National Action Plan (NAP) to Oct 2017 have convicted 1,521, awarded death penalty to 94, awarded life imprisonment to 562 convicts and have convicted 2823 since September 1997.

Giving progress of the decisions taken in the 20th apex committee meeting, it was pointed out that the chief justice of Sindh High Court has been requested to transfer the cases of high profile prisoners to Badin so that they could be shifted there. The chief minister directed the home department to keep the matter pursuing so that process could be completed in the shortest possible time.

The IG Police has prepared a draft law and has sent to industries, education and Auqaf departments for registration, construction, monitoring and other ancillary matters relating to madaris. The chief minister directed the IG police to get it done at the earliest so that it could be presented in the assembly. In the last apex committee meeting it was decided to establish a committee to monitor Karachi safe City Project (KSCP). The Home department has sought nominations from Pakistan Rangers, intelligence agencies and IG police. The names have been received and a notification would be issues within a week.

The provincial government as per decision of the apex committee has approached the interior ministry for controlling cybercrime. The IG office is in touch with the interior ministry to expedite the matter so that solid control could be made on cybercrime.

The street crime remained the most discussed item in the apex committee. The participants discussed it in threadbare. The chief minister said “we have controlled heinous crimes but the street crime has posed big challenge,” and added.

It was pointed out the illegal immigrants who are around 2.5 million in the province, majority in the city of Karachi are involved in street crime . They generate funds through street crime and fund terrorism and other criminal activities. Therefore, it was proposed to make the street crime as a part of apex committee domain. The chief minister approved the proposal and directed police and Rangers to launch crackdown and targeted operation against street criminals.

The chief minister also constituted a committee under Law Minister with AG Sindh and Home Secretary to call on chief justice Sindh High Court to dedicate certain courts for trial of street crimes so as to get attention focused and make it difficult for culprits to get released easily. “My objective to take drastic steps is to create deterrence in commission of street crime ,” the chief minister said.

The land grabbing was another important matter which was discussed in detail. The participants termed land grabbing an organised crime being committed by jihadis and organised mafias. The chief secretary who is also Senior Member Board of Revenue said that the land record has been digitalised. It automatically searched government and private land when the number of land is fed in its search system.

The meeting said that the money generated through land grabbing is used in crime and terrorism. On this the chief minister decided to launch crackdown against land grabbers and even against those who are expert or involved in making fake property papers/documents. The operation would be conducted by Rangers and Police in the areas such as Surjani Town, Gulistan-i-Jauhar, Manghopir, Super Highway, Scheme 33 and various other areas.

The meeting was also told that re-verification of all existing 4th schedulers has been done through additional IG CTD. The chief minister directed the Home department to approach federal government to amend ATA law for stopping financial transition of 4th schedulers through banks. The Sindh government has approached the interior ministry with the request to notify the Sindh police as ‘civil authority’ under foreigners Order 1951 enabling to take necessary legal action against illegal immigrants as well as unauthorised foreigners in the province.

The home department on the directives of the apex committee has approached State Bank of Pakistan to issue specific instructions to all commercial banks/financial institutions for taking all security related steps as per SOPs already issued by it [SBP].

The issue of missing persons was also discussed in the meeting. It was pointed out that some people just for gaining political sympathy or becoming champion of human rights are presenting exaggerating lists of missing persons. The chief minister directed the home department, IG police and Rangers to complete a data of the missing persons so that actual figures could be made available. It was noted that some people go on jihad or for other criminal activities out of country and then go missing there, they are also termed as have been made missed here. The meeting was informed that 83 high profile prisoners, including 52 under trial, 18 convicts and 13 condemned have been shifted from Central Jail Karachi to other districts. Another 137 prisoners, including 69 UTPs, 50 convicts and 18 condemned have also been shifted from Karachi to other districts.

The meeting was told that in 1997 four wheelers snatching was 2318 and it came down to 199 in 2017.  In 1997, 4-wheelers theft was recorded at 3241 per year while it has come down to 1085 in 2017. On this the chief minister showed his displeasure and directed the IG police to stop it by taking strict action. It was also disclosed that the Rangers remain present at 460 places.

The meeting taking policy decision decided to enforce installation of much visible number plates on the bikes at their front side so that it could be covered on CCTV. The implementation would be made very soon.

The apex committee under the leadership of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah giving a clear message said that the law enforcement agencies are capable enough to maintain law and order in the city. “We are vigilant and would not allow anyone to create the old practice of worsening law and order in the city,” the chief minister said.