KARACHI  -     Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that maintenance of law and order and ensuring security of the citizens was his government’s top priority.

“This priority can be achieved if police formulate short-term and long-term goals in consultation with various stakeholders, and present them for the consideration of the government.”

This he said on Thursday while speaking at Retreat- a strategic workshop and exhibition organised by Sindh police at a local hotel here.

The seminar was attended by CM Adviser on Information Murtaza Wahab, retired senior officers including IGPs and members of civil society.

The chief minister said that it was the responsibility of the provincial government to maintain law and order to ensure safety of citizens. He added that for achieving this objective the police had to formulate short-term and long-term goals in consultation with various stakeholders and present them for the consideration of the government.

He said that the workshop (Retreat) appeared to be a constructive step in that direction. The chief minister said that this workshop would help the Sindh police assess their capacity, resources, and effectiveness, and their strengths and weaknesses. He added policing, the world over, was a challenging profession. “Police is the primary agency responsible for reducing and controlling crime and ensuring public safety,” he said.

Murad said that such strategic workshops provided an opportunity for officers and stakeholders alike to engage, consult, introspect, and coordinate towards formulation of strategies to help achieve key policing goals.

“I am sure the agenda for the workshop has provided the basis for brainstorming by the participants,” he said and added “Coming together and sharing experiences ranging from hardcore policing to different thematic areas, augurs well for the utility of this retreat exercise.”

He said in a lighter mood that the entire police force had been invited in the seminar, and there was no policeman in the street for policing. He added further that on Thursday (yesterday) only one murder has been reported from all over Sindh. “This is the lowest in the recent trend and I am sure this law and order be maintained in this way,” he said.

Murad advised the IG police to visit all the police regions and meet with his juniors and encourage them for better policing and also involve civil society to the development of the community police.

The chief minister said that the Inspector General Police Sindh and his team would benefit greatly from this two day exercise. “A meaningful dialogue must lead to achievable targets, and an increased efficiency in the performance of Sindh.

On the other hand, Pasban Democratic Party (PDP) President Altaf Shakoor said that non-verification of the national census figures in Sindh is a bias towards the urban areas, especially Karachi, where reportedly at least 10 million people were not counted during the last national population census. He said like previous government, the sitting regime is also least interested in the uplift of Sindh province, especially the mega city Karachi.

He said ironically, the PTI government in the Centre is only due to the heavy mandate given to this party by the voters of the mega city, but the rulers have betrayed their Karachi voters so far and not taken any serious effort to resolve the sufferings of Karachi and Karachiites. Shakoor said not only the constituencies of national and provincial assemblies are formed on the basis of population but the division of national resources including financial resources is also done on the basis of census. He said though the national census was done two years ago, but the Council of Common Interests (CCI) has yet to verify the results of the sixth national population census.

He reminded that it was agreed upon during the previous government’s tenure to conduct a post-enumeration audit of 5 per cent of the census blocks. A decision to get this audit done by a third party was taken at a CCI meeting in November 2017, but till now this decision awaits implementation. Shakoor said that the indecision of the federal government on this sensitive topic shows its apathy towards the problems of Sindh, especially the mega city of Karachi. He said the mega city has braved a step-motherly treatment in every government.

The PDP President said it was being hoped that the PTI MNAs elected from Karachi would raise a strong voice for the rights of their city, but sadly this is not the case.

He said the indifference attitude of the government towards the sensitive matter of discrepancy in national census data regarding Sindh shows how serious the rulers are to improve national cohesion and better inter-provincial relations. Shakoor demanded of the government to immediate take a firm decision in this regard and conduct third party audit in selected 5percent blocks so as to correct the discrepancies in the national census figures. He said this would also help in giving just resources to Sindh, especially Karachi, on the basis of their actual population to mitigate the sufferings of poor masses.