KARACHI  -  The interim provincial government is working hard to facilitate political parties to run their election campaign in a free and safe environment but all this will be possible only when political parties will follow the election code of conduct in letter and spirit, says Sindh Caretaker Chief Minister Fazal-ur-Rehman.

Presided over a high-level law and order meeting at CM House on Saturday, he said the government had created a peaceful atmosphere in which all political parties were conducting their election canvassing in a secure atmosphere. “We are trying to make it more secure by taking some important measures for which all political parties will have to extend their full cooperation,” he said and added this cooperation includes abiding by the code of conduct and informing the concerned district administration prior to their political activities such as corner meetings.

The meeting was attended by Sindh Chief Secretary Azam Suleman, Rangers DG Mohammad Saeed, Sindh Police IG Amjad Javed Saleemi, Principal Secretary to CM Sohail Rajput, Home Secretary Mohammad Haroon, Karachi Commissioner Sualeh Farooqui, Karachi Additional IG Mushtaq Maher, Special Branch Additional IG Dr Waliullah Dal, Information Secretary Qazi Shahid Pervez, provincial heads of different law enforcement agencies and others.

Chief Secretary Azam Suleman told the meeting that he had established a close coordination with all agencies such as Rangers, police and other intelligence institutions so that foolproof security arrangements could be made for the general elections scheduled for July 25.

He said that with the approval of the chief minister over Rs1 billion funds had been released to make arrangements for the general elections and he was personally monitoring use of each and every penny of the public. The chief minister said that there should not be any missing facility at any polling station. “Every polling station should have all the facilities such as water, electricity, security, required furniture, refreshment, CCTV, accessories and connectivity, generators and UPS etc.,” he said. The chief minister said that he along with the IG and other top officers visited arrangements in different districts and held meetings with district intelligence committees to make best arrangements.

Rangers DG Mohammad Saeed said there was an exemplary coordination among all agencies working in the province to maintain law and order in the province. He said that targeted operation against terrorists and outlaws was in full swing.

The DG said that all important places, public points, outskirts, katchi abadis and other places were under strict vigilance and “Insha Allah everything will go well and smooth”, he said.

IG Amjad Saleemi told the meeting that he had established a coordination cell in his office where day to day operation and working by SSPs and sub-divisional police officers is shared regularly. He said that threat alerts are there but coordinated efforts and working of police, Rangers and other intelligence have proved to be successful. “We are conducting search operations, targeted operation and have started a crackdown on street criminals and many street criminals have been arrested so far,” Saleemi said.

Karachi Additional IG Mushtaq Maher said that around 1200 candidates are contesting election on national and provincial assembly seats and each candidate holds three corner meetings every day on an average. “This way the police were providing security to 3,600 corner meetings daily,” he said and added “this is a major engagement and the police and other agencies are doing it well,” he said. He complained that most of the candidates/political parties were not abiding by the code of conduct.

Intelligence agencies’ representatives briefed the chief minister and said their people in plainclothes were keeping an eye on people’s movement. “We are scanning each and every important and sensitive area and on our pointation various criminals have been arrested,” they said.

The chief secretary told the meeting that with the approval of the caretaker chief minister three intelligence committees have been formed and notified. The seven-member provincial intelligence committee is headed by home secretary and IG and led by the commissioner. The District Intelligence Committee is headed by the concerned deputy commissioner and SSP. The purpose of formation of these intelligence committees was to ensure a peaceful environment for the general elections.

These committees are authorized to take congnizance of any local level threat/terrorism-related threat and timely share such threats, if any, with all stakeholders.

The meeting was informed that 1001 complaints regarding violation of code of conduct have been received so far. At least 227 complaints were registered in Karachi, 72 in Hyderabad, 19 in Sukkur, 626 in Larkana, 10 in Mirpurkhas and 47 in Shaheed Benazirabad.

The chief minister said it was teamwork and he was glad to know that an effective, vigorous and well-coordinated effort was being made.