KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has decided to pay Rs10 million compensation to the family of the head constable who was killed in the Sehwan blast last week.

Also, someone from the late head constable’s family will be given job and other facilities.

This was decided at a meeting between former president Asif Ali Zaradri and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah at Chief Minister’s House on Monday. The meeting was attended by Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mendhro, Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon, Sindh Police Inspector General AD Khowaja, Counter-Terrorism Department Additional IG Sanaullah Abbasi, Karachi Additional IG Mushtaq Maher, Karachi Commissioner Aijaz Ali Khan, Hyderabad Commissioner Qazi Shahid Parvaiz and Hyderabad DIG Khadim Rind.

Former president Asif Ali Zaradri directed Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah to announce Rs10 million compensation for head constable Abdul Aleem who was killed in the blast at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar and give other facilities to his family. “This is not a simple compensation for the late head constable; it is a clear and loud message to the entire police force that their government will not leave their families alone and helpless if they sacrifice their lives in the line of duty,” he said.

The Sindh Police IG said in his presentation to the former president that the blast took place at around 7pm on Thursday, February 16, when there were over 4,000 devotees inside the compound of the shrine. The blast claimed at least 90 lives of innocent people and injured 351 others. He said the shrine had been sealed to save the forensic evidence and special teams from Karachi had been dispatched for investigation.

AD Khowaja said the Counter-Terrorism Department had been assigned the investigation and geo-fencing data was being obtained. He said the Bomb Disposal Squad had submitted its report, which said that 7/8kg highly explosive pieces of lead, cartridges of 9mm and ball bearings were found at the blast scene. He went on to say that due to use of ball-bearings and lead, heavy loss of life occurred. It was a suicide attack, he added.

Talking about post-incident investigation, the IG said that fingerprints of dead bodies had been collected and pieces of human organs had been collected from the crime scene and sent for DNA analysis. He said that pieces of mobile phones found at the blast scene had been taken into custody. CCTV and mobile footage and images have also been secured for analysis. He said the suspected suicide bomber had also been identified.

Sindh Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon said there were 700 shrines of Sufi saints in the province. The police, in collaboration with the Auqaf Department, provide security to them. He said that most of the shrines had low or no boundary walls, encroachments on their premises, unidentified and multiple entry/exit points, no parking facilities, inadequate body search mechanism and no women staff to frisk women visitors.

The chief minister said that he had held a number of meetings with the police, district administration and the Auqaf Department and all these issues were being addressed.

The former president said that there were some areas like borders with Balochistan and Punjab where strict checking should be ensured. Facilitators of terrorists should be crushed with an iron hand wherever they are found, Zardari said.

The chief minister said that Sindh was the land of the Sufi saints and peaceful people. “I am proud to say that not a single suicide bomber from Sindh has ever been found; they are being imported from other areas and countries,” he said. “Yes, their facilitators have emerged in some districts where the Sindh government has decided to launch an operation,” he said.

The chief minister said that he had worked out a detailed plan under which he would request the federal government to conduct an operation in Balochistan, particularly in the areas of Wadh, Mastung, Jhal Magsi, Khuzdar and some other areas. “This is important and has been worked out in the light of agencies’ reports,” he said.

Syed Murad Ali Shah told his party chief that he had sent a list of 94 madaris to the federal government, asking it to monitor their activities, but federal government’s response was heart-breaking.

Zaradri said that he was not against the madaris, which were providing religious education to the youth, but he was against the madaris, which were promoting terrorism in the country and facilitating terrorists. “Our forefathers had established a madrassa (Sindh Madarsa) where founder of the nation, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, received education. This is the kind of madrassa we want to promote,” he said.

The former president directed the chief minister to take up the issue of Afghan nationals living in Sindh and get them out of the province and the country. “We have suffered a lot at their hands,” he said.

The chief minister told Zardari that he had started an operation in the areas right from Malir to Jamshoro, Hyderabad, Dadu, Sukkur, Larakana, Ghotki and some other areas.

Zardari said that some forces were working to weaken Pakistan, but he would not allow this conspiracy to succeed.