Karachi - Sindh is the land of  Sufis and it is totally free from all types of bigotry, hatred and discrimination on the basis of religion or sect, said Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday.

“But the dictatorial rule in the country created problems for the society, which Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) government has eliminated to some extent,” he said, and in the same breath added, “Still there is a lot to do to purge the society of these issues.”

He was talking to a delegation of probationary officers of Pakistan Administrative Services, currently receiving training at Civil Services Academy, which called on him here at the CM House.

The programme was attended by P&D Minister Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, IG Sindh AD Khawaja, P&D Chairman Mohammad Waseem, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Secretary Home Qazi Shahid Parvez, Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi and Secretary Planning Shireen Narijo.

The chief minister said that he was proud to say that Sindh had not produced any terrorist in its history because it was the land of Sufis where people from different religions and schools of thought lived together in tranquillity. “But yes, due to defective and unrealistic policies of dictators [Gen Zia and Gen Musharraf], several serious problems have emerged in our society,” he said, and added, “The culture of Kalashnikov and heroin, religious & sectarian divide and presence of illegal immigrants are a few of the dangerous legacies General Zia left behind for his successors to cleanse them.”

“Similarly, Musharraf left behind extremists and suicide bombers as his legacy, which his successors are still working to eliminate,” the CM said, and added, “Moreover, he destroyed governance by introducing the system of devolution.

Murad said that these dictatorial rules had badly affected a tolerant society in Sindh . “Extremists, who penetrated from into Sindh Balochistan have created some problems in the cities like Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Kandhkot-Kashmore and they have managed to reach up to Dadu district, which resulted in a bomb blast at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar,” he said, and added that the PPP government during its first and the second (the ongoing) term had been fighting against the terrorists and had successfully eliminated them. “But still their remnants create issues sometimes,” he admitted.

The chief minister said that he was working on developing a pluralistic society free from all kinds of hatred and divide to return the legacy of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and Sachal Sarmast back to Sindh .

He said that the government had waged a war against terrorists, extortionists, target killers in Karachi through an intelligence-based targeted operation. “The beauty of the targeted operation is to net and crush the outlaws without disturbing normal life and shedding blood of the innocent,” he said, and appreciated the law enforcement agencies for working professionally. “Today, Karachi, where trade activities had suffered a blow, where the hotel industry was on a downhill, industrialists were flying abroad along with their capital, small traders had come to their kneels, has again started to flourish.  Now, you will hardly succeed in booking a room in any hotel of the city,” he said proudly, and added the investors were in the queue to invest in energy, industry, agriculture, fisheries and in various other sectors and, “We are going to launch some new special industrial zones.”

He spoke about his government achievements in the health sector as well, and lauded the services of NICVD, SIUT, JPMC, Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences and also went on counting the successful projects his government had launched under the public private partnership. “We have constructed Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas road, a bridge on River Indus at Jhirk-Mulakatiar and Sir Aga Khan Bridge, besides initiating coal mining in Thar and various other projects,” Murad said, and added, “All these are our success stories.”

Replying to a question, the chief minister said that there were some issues of capacity in the government officers. “But we have some good officers as well, who have worked on major projects such as Karachi Package phase-I & II,” he said.

Murad further said that his government had served the people of Sindh because they trusted PPP and the PPP had deep roots in them.

He said he wished that Prince Kareem Aga Khan visited Pakistan every year, instead of after 17 years, which he did this time.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, while reviewing the security arrangements made for the visit of the Prince, said that since he was coming to Pakistan after 17 years, therefore he must be received in such a befitting manner so that he would visit at least once in a year.

The security review meeting was attended by Minister Home Sohail Anwar Siyal, Minister Local Government Jam Khan Shoro, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon,  IG police AD Khowaja, Adl IG Karachi Mushtaq Maher, Commissioner Karachi Aijaz Khan, Deputy DG Rangers, MD KW&SB Hashim Raza, Municipal Commissioner KMC Dr Asghar Shaikh, MD Sindh Solid Waste Management, Program Manager Karachi Package  Khalid Masroor, Faisal Jahangir of KE, Amin Lakhani, Representative of Aga Khan Community and Col. Noor, Security Officer Jamatkhanas.

Addressing all the participants, the chief minister said that the purpose of inviting all of them was to remind them their duties. “I want proper cleanliness in the city, particularly the areas where High Highness would visit, uninterrupted power supply, proper security arrangements, traffic arrangement and removal of unauthorized establishments such as patharas, enrocahmennt under flyovers etc,” he said.

The IG Police and deputy DG Rangers briefed the chief minister about their security plan to escort High Highness and keep vigilance before and after his visits. The officers from civic agencies also assured that they would make proper water supply, removal of debris, filth and garbage from the areas, cleanliness of nalas and repair of roads leading to Jamaatkhanas.

The chief minister personally visited Ismaili jamaat Khana located on  Khayaban-e-Romi at Clifton Block-7, near Bath Island and discussed the  security and other matter with the management. He also inspected the nala crossing through bath Island and directed Muncipal Commissioner Dr Asghar Shaikh to remove bushes around than ala and repair its embankment walls and also directed MD water board hashim raza Zaidi to cleanse it by the evening.

The chief minister along with all the participants of the meeting went to Britto road Garden to visit Ismaili Jamaatkhana. He directed IG police for deployment of policemen on the roofs of nearby buildings. “Garden area is thickly populated therefore deploy an efficient traffic cops here,” he said and also directed him to remove vehicles parked outside the showroom. “This is a serious issue and I have been giving directives time and again but they are implemented for a shortest period and this is unacceptable,” he said.

The chief minister said that he would visit the areas alone to see the implementation of his directives, he concluded.

The chief minister also directed the IG and commissioner Karachi to make necessary security arrangements for the followers of Prince Aga Kareem who would come from all over Pakistan to Karachi. They must be facilitated in a genuine way, he said.