KARACHI - The Sindh government has decided to launch vigorous operation clean up against the gangs of dacoits involved in kidnapping for ransom in the katch area of Sukkur and Larkana divisions.

This decision was taken in the cabinet meeting held here at CM House with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in the chair. All the provincial ministers, advisors and special assistants to CM and chief secretary Siddique Memon, IG police AD Khwaja, Advocate general Zameer Ghumro and others attended the meeting.

IG Police AD Khwaja briefing the cabinet on law and order said that some gangs of notorious dacoits involved in kidnapping for ransom were active in katcha area of Ghotki, Kashmore and Shikapur. These criminals might also be involved in other criminal activities.

On this the chief minister floated the proposal of cleanup operation against the dacoits, criminals and their facilitators which the cabinet approved and allowed the IG police to launch it (operation) when he deemed it fit.

The gangs active in the katch area of Sukkur and Larkana division include Jhangal Teghani, Patho Narejo, Gulzar Jatoi, Shahnawaz jatoi, khair Mohammad Teghani, Belo Teghani, Sultoo Shar, Sharif Bahngwar and nawab Jagirani.

Briefing the cabinet on Khanpur, District Shikarpur incident, the IG said that the terrorists were penetrating from Balochistan to attack innocent people of bordering cities of Sindh. Syed Murad Ali Shah said that he had discussed the issue with chief minister of Balochistan and he was ready to cooperate with Sindh government to evolve a joint strategy to curb their movement.  “I have asked IG police to coordinate with his counterpart of Balochistan to develop new mechanism to secure our border with Balochistan,” he told the cabinet.

Syed Murad Ali Shah said that Sindh was the land of Sufis and its people have always rejected fanaticism. “But this time situation is little different,” he said and went on saying: “The increasing clout of religious political parties, the mushroom growth of madaris in absence of regulations and legislation, the Balochistan factor, poverty and illiteracy were major factors behind terrorist activities in rural areas of the province.” He also decided to start constructing Kandhkot-Ghotki bridge on River Indus to open up the area.

He said he was keen to table Madaris Reforms draft Bill in the assembly and then asked his law advisor about his discussion with the administration of madaris of different schools of thought. Murtaza Wahab told the cabinet that he had held discussions with them and they have recommended some amendments and have also sought a week time to finalize it. The chief minister urged him to expedite the matter because it would be tabled in the next assembly session. “We are also taking concrete steps for poverty reduction and improving education system in the province to face the  menace of terrorism,” he said.

On the complaint of Provincial Minister Imdad Pitafi the chief minister directed the IG police to crack down against the criminals involved in selling or making illicit liquor, manpuri, gutka and such other items destroying new generations. “This is serious and warn the concerned SSPs to stop this business, otherwise face the music,” he said. Secretary Energy Agha Wasif briefing the cabinet on outstanding electricity dues of Hesco and Sepco said that they had claimed Rs128.4 billion, including f Rs61.31 billion of Hesco and Rs67.09 billion of Sepco for the period from July 2010 to July 2016. The bills were so inflated that the provincial government refused to pay.

Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that in capacity of energy minister and now as chief minister started reconciliation process with the federal government and finally settled the amount at Rs78.21 billion. “This is how I saved over Rs50 billion of the people of Sindh,” he said. On this the cabinet appreciated the efforts of the chief minister and his team.  Secretary energy Agha Wasif said that the Sindh government had already paid Rs50.9 billion against electricity bills and Rs27.31 billion were yet to be paid.

The cabinet urged the chief minister to bracket the issue of prolonged loadshedding in rural areas of Sindh with the payment of power bills. The chief minister said that the federal government was cooperating with his government, therefore he would take up load-shedding, installation of meters and other issues with federal government.

The cabinet also endorsed the proposal of wearing helmet while riding a bike. The police department would launch an awareness campaign for wearing helmets for one month and then strict action would be started.

The chief minister said that he was quite surprised that in other countries it was it was quite difficult but almost impossible to have driving licence but in our country, particularly in Sindh it is so easy that even a child can obtain it (driving licence).

Similarly, children enrolment in schools was quite easy in other countries but it is again an invincible job for parents in Sindh.

“We have to change the system. There was dire need to introduce rigid laws for issuance of a driving licence to avoid growing rate of road accidents and have to make school admissions system easy.

The cabinet approved action against display of weapons, installation of police lights, routers and heavy lights, one-wheeling and acrobatic bike riding demonstrations on the main roads.