KARACHI – Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, while presenting his government’s five-year performance, said on Monday that despite limited strength of 27,000 policemen to protect 20 million citizens, crimes have reduced to 23 per cent in Karachi. Besides spending a huge sum of Rs688billion on uplift schemes, permanent jobs were provided to 165,000 people in the public sector on merit and 7,000 houses provided to the poor free of cost.

In his address to the Sindh Assembly, Qaim presented an account of the achievements of his government over the past five years, 2008 to 2013, spoke on law and order. He said the situation of Karachi had remained fragile and it had caused pain and misery to thousands of families.

The genesis of this issue was complicated, but what was now understood by many was that ‘it is not an ordinary law and order situation’, Qaim said, adding it would not be incorrect to say (that) that was an offshoot of the larger conflict that this country had been fighting. Referring to the military establishment’s change of security policy, Shah said that it had now been acknowledged by the establishment as well, when they recently issued a policy statement saying that there was a bigger war within the country that required dedicated attention.

Given these complexities, the chief minister told the House that his government had continued to make very serious, sincere and wholehearted efforts to contain damages and de-escalate conflict in many ways.

He claimed that murders, robberies and other street crimes had been reduced by 23 per cent in Karachi, while 30 to 40 per cent crimes had been reduced in other districts of the province with the efforts of the provincial government. He said efforts to contain and control the law and order problem was in process.

Comparing the crime rate in Sindh to that of other provinces, the chief minister said 4,000 people were killed last year in Karachi, while 19,000 people were killed in the Punjab in the same period, but no one asked about it.

He said there were so many factors behind crimes in the city, saying that only 27,000 police cops were safeguarding the 20 million citizens of Karachi, but despite limited force the government had contained the law and order problem.

He said the budget of police for law and order was enhanced to Rs32billion in the current financial year, adding that 8,000 police constables had been inducted in the police force and were being trained at present. The government intended to induct 10,000 more constables in police. The Election Commission of Pakistan has imposed a ban on recruitments which was unfortunate, Qaim told the House.

The Supreme Court through passing orders asked the Sindh government to induct more people in the police, while on the other side the ECP imposed ban on the recruitment.

The chief minister told the assembly the ECP without listening to the point of view of the government refused to allow the recruitment in the police force.

He said unemployment was rampant in the province, so there was need to recruit more than 10,000 police cops. Qaim further said that when his government announced to induct ASIs in police, the Supreme Court while passing order barred the government from inducting ASIs without the Sindh Public Service Commission.

He termed the order of the Supreme Court unfortunate, which banned the Sindh government from recruiting ASIs in the Sindh Police, announcing that of course we would induct the people in the Sindh Police.

Referring to the order of the Supreme Court on the Abbas Town bomb blast in Karachi, the chief minister said an incident occurred in a district, but the IG, DIGs and DSPs were suspended, who were experienced people, so how the affairs of the district would run, he exclaimed.

The chief minister said the police and Rangers apprehended dangerous criminals and provided foolproof in the month of Muharram, but no one praised the efforts of the government. He said a huge number of illegal immigrants living in the Karachi, seeking that support of the opposition parties and MQM to expel them from their countries.

Qaim said if the government got two years and had worked free of backchannel conspiracies, the law and order problems would have been controlled completely. He vowed that “we will ensure it through administrative and political determination, continued that democracy is need of the country, and people are best judges to decide the fortune”. Presenting the report about his government’s performance Shah, in his initial remarks, said the biggest achievement of the government was that it was completing five years of its tenure.

Counting the achievement of the five year rule of PPP, Shah said that government has provided 1,65000 jobs to people in the public sector on merit basis.At least 200,000 youths of the province provided skilled training and of these 30pc have been able to get employment, adding that World Bank is supporting this intervention of Benazir Bhutto Youth Development Programme.   Shah informed the house that approximately 3,65000  households benefited from the public sector jobs and trainings-altogether benefiting a population of 2.5 million people in the province.

The CM said that a total sum of Rs688 billion spent on the development schemes including Rs.479 billion for provincial development program, Rs.124 billion for Foreign Projects Assistance and Rs.85 billion for districts in last five years, besides MPAs/MNAs were given Rs30.99 billion for the uplift schemes.

The government was providing cash grant to over 800,000 women in Sindh on regular basis, besides 100000 women have been given interest free micro credit loan by the present government, CM said, adding that 7000 houses have been constructed for flood affected people and technical trainings have been given to around 200000 youth of the province under Benazir Bhutto Shaheed

Youth Development Program of these more than 30 per cent have been able to get employment. The chief minister said that overall the budget of education department was increased from Rs80 billion in 2007-8 to Rs122 billion in current year.

Shah said that seven new universities, three engineering colleges 9 cadet colleges (two for girls) have been sanctioned by the government in five years, besides three medical universities were established in the province.

Giving high priority to health sector, the chief minister said that the current budget has been increased by 400pc from Rs5.2 billion in 2007-08 to Rs22 billion in 2012 for health sector, while Coal development was provided Rs.30.3 billion, industries Rs.8 billion, road sector got Rs55 billion, Irrigation and agriculture received Rs24 billion.

CM unveiled that a sum of Rs41billion were spent on relief and rehabilitation activities for flood affectees, who severely affected of floods in 2010 and 2011.

About special packages, CM said that Karachi remained central to government of Sindh’s development priority, which got Rs110 billion in five years, while Rs25 billion has been allocated for Karachi K-IV project, a mega project for water supply. Besides allocating Rs3.7 billion for Lyari and Rs6 billion for Keamari, Malir, and Rural Karachi, East Karachi, Central Karachi and Mubarak village, adding that Rs6.8 billion has been given to Hyderabad.

Shah added that Rs24 billion were allocated for the Public Health and Engineering Department for facilitating better coverage of potable water and drainage for rural and urban settlement.

Later, Speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro adjourned the House till Wednesday, March 13, 2013.