KARACHI - Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has demanded the federal government and the people at the helm of affairs to make stern laws for the use of mobile phone SIM cards as the mobile phones were being used in terrorism, bomb blasts, kidnapping for ransom and extortion.

He said that it was necessary for checking heinous crimes and incidents and terrorism. He said while talking to Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik on the telephone. Malik told Hussain that the government had suspended mobile services on the occasion of the Eid keeping in view the threat of terrorism, and it was very helpful in controlling terrorism. He said that snatched phones and pre-paid SIM cards were being used in incidents of terrorism, and hence the government was considering various steps to regulate the buying and selling of mobile phones and SIM cards. He said that the government was also thinking about proscribing the use of pre-paid mobile connections. Hussain assured Malik of full cooperation and said that the government should take urgent and effective steps for eliminating terrorism as there was nothing more important than human life.

Hussain regretted the registration of a case against 11-year-old Christian girl Rifta Masih and said that such incidents were creating unrest and a sense of insecurity among the religious minorities. He said that steps should be taken to avoid such incidents in the future. Malik assured Hussain that the issue of Rifta Masih would be resolved soon. He praised the effort being made by Mr Hussain for promoting religious tolerance and sectarian harmony.

‘DRUGS ERADICATION GOVT TOP PRIORITY’: Sindh Excise and Taxation Minister Mukesh Kumar Chawla has said that the Excise Department has purchased arms worth Rs180 million to curb the illegal activities of drug smugglers.  The purpose of this purchasing is to eradicate narcotics in Sindh. He said this while presiding over a high-level meeting at his office on Thursday.

He said that eradication of the drugs was top priority of the government. Action would be taken against those who did not pay motor registration taxes. He directed the officers of the department to make surprise raids on the main arteries of the City to take action against non-payment of vehicle taxes. The provincial minister added, “Annual target of Excise and Taxation Department has reached from Rs23.73 billion to Rs28 billion that is a record in the history of province.”

He said that the tax collection system had been computerised in the province. Revolutionary steps have been taken in Excise and Taxation Department, he added. Jobs have been given on merit and all these measures are the result of the political vision and reconciliation policy of President Asif Ali Zardari, he held.