Monitoring Desk/Mansoor Khan

KARACHi - Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) AD Khawaja on Tuesday said that the killers of police personnel were sitting in the assemblies as all the officers who had participated in the Karachi operation in 1996 had been targeted and killed, reported private TV channels.

While talking to media in Karachi, the IG Sindh AD Khawaja said that the situation of Karachi was troublesome in the 1990s as killings were at their zenith then. “However, the Sindh police successfully conducted operation alone,” he added.

Later talking to the business community of Karachi during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Khawaja said that the Police Act 1861 was not workable at all in dealing with the crimes of 21st century, hence this had to be replaced with a new Police Act in order to ensure operational and administrative independence of the police department.

Sindh IGP requested the businessmen to also raise voice for replacing the obsolete Police Act 1861 with a new one so that police’s performance could be improved. Speaking on behalf of the business community, BMG Chairman Siraj Kassam Teli threw his weight behind the IG’s demand for a new Police Act, saying the chamber will immediately take up this issue. Karachi City Police Chief Mushtaq Maher, Businessmen Group Chairman & former KCCI president Siraj Kassam Teli, BMG Vice Chairman Zubair Motiwala, KCCI President Shamim Ahmed Firpo, KCCI Senior Vice President Asif Nisar, KCCI Vice President Muhammad Younus Soomro, former presidents of KCCI AQ Khalil and Younus Muhammad Bashir, Chairman of Law & Order Sub-Committee Mansoor Ahmed and others were also present on the occasion.

Khawaja also suggested to the Karachi Chamber to form a focal committee in association with Police department in order to discuss and identify law and order issues, besides devising a strategy to deal with numerous issues particularly the rising street crimes.

He informed the city’s business community that in order to deal with politicization of police department, he had taken some irreversible steps; the most important of which was the recruitment of officers, which was now being done by Pakistan Army in association with CPLC. “Only those officers are being inducted who pass the NTS exams,” he added.

He informed that a batch of 4,000 officers would be completing its training under the supervision of Pakistan Army on February 10, 2017 whereas another batch of 15,000 officers would be sent for training on February 15, 2017.

“This particular step, besides dealing with the issue of politicization, will provide some of the best and well-trained officers to the police department, he added.

AD Khawaja further informed that reporting rooms were being introduced at all police stations of Karachi in order to facilitate the public. “These will be completed by June 2017 whereas the driving licence office in Clifton has become completely automated,” he said, and added, “Resultantly its efficiency has improved.” He further said that efforts were on to improve other driving licence issuing facilities all over the province. “It is our desire that the licences issued in Sindh should be accepted globally,” he expressed the desire.

Meeting KCCI president’s demand, the IG immediately ordered to grant a leniency period of six hours to those citizens who were not carrying original documents. “No FIR or legal action will immediately be taken against such commuters and if they produce the original documents within six hours, they will be set free,” he assured.

Speaking on the occasion, BMG Chairman & KCCI former president Siraj Kassam Teli stated that any officer, including SHOs, DSPs, SSPs, and DIGs etc, who had the intention and strong faith, would surely be able to improve the performance of police department within the available resources.

“The existing performance of police department can be doubled in the prevailing circumstances only if the officers work faithfully and honestly,” he hoped.

The BMG chairman, while recalling his days in trade politics since 1992, said that throughout this period he had been hearing about the issues and claims by the authorities but the situation on the ground remained the same. “No positive change has been witnessed in the policing system, which is really worrying for the business and industrial community,” he added.

Referring to the use of a SIM card to track down a suspect in United Kingdom, he stressed that such technology should also be acquired by Sindh Police, saying it was intelligent enough to track down any culprit within two hours by swiftly analysing all the SIM cards being used within the specific radius of a crime scene.

Expressing deep concern over politicisation of police department, BMG Vice Chairman Zubair Motiwala said at least 30 percent of the department was politicised. “This is the basic reason why police’s performance is poor,” he argued.

Earlier, KCCI President Shamim Ahmed Firpo, in his welcome address, said that Karachi remained the victim of lawlessness in the past but the situation was much better nowadays thanks to the ongoing Karachi Operation by Police and Rangers. “However, the citizens continue to suffer in the streets due to rising street crimes, which also need to be tackled seriously and an effective strategy should be devised to deal with this problem,” he emphasised.