KARACHI             -     Top political and military leadership in the province on Monday agreed on bringing seminary reforms, expediting safe city project and asking Sindh High Court to establish separate courts for street crime cases during the 24th apex committee meeting headed by Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah.

The meeting was attended by Corps Commander Karachi Lt Gen Humayun Aziz, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, DG Rangers Major General Omer Bukhari, IG Sindh Mushtaq Maher, provincial ministers among others.

The meeting was told that around 8,195 seminaries and Imambargahs were located on the main thoroughfares and it was decided that no NOC would be issued from now onwards for establishment of such places on the main road.

The meeting was told that draft bill `Sindh Deeni Madaris Act, 2016 had been submitted to the chief minister through a summary for approval. 

The Ministry of Interior has notified a working group under the chairmanship of secretary Ministry of Education with representatives of concerned ministries and agencies which has to deliberate on seminaries reforms, registration, government funding, mainstreaming, curriculum and foreign funding and other issues.

The chief minister directed Adviser to CM on Law Murtaza Wahab to further proceed on federal working group inputs to avoid dichotomy.

The meeting while taking a policy decision, decided to register seminaries as educational institutions by the education department instead of Auqaf department. 

The meeting was briefed regarding partial implementation on the Safe City project, approved previously by the apex committee. The suggestions for the project included installation of facial recognition system, intelligent traffic management system (ITMS), big data analysis system, e-patrolling and model police stations/smart policing and Sindh police automation-decision support system. It was informed that a bill to introduce safe city authority has been passed by the assembly while funds were needed to install 10,000 cameras at 2,000 sites in the province. 

At this the chief minister said that he would release funds from block allocation shortly. 

The meeting was told that currently 2,500 CCTV cameras were functional and being monitored through Command & Control center located at the CPO. The meeting decided to install HD CCTV cameras at all the exit and entry points so that movement of vehicles and people could be monitored.  The overall financial estimate of Safe City project has been made at Rs24 billion. 

The meeting was told that a law to try street crime cases separately was under consideration and guidance has been sought from the Sindh High Court in this regard. It was pointed out that street crimes could be effectively tried under existing laws and the trial by Session Court was more effective than trial by the magistrate. The meeting decided to request the high court to designate session courts exclusively for trying street crimes. The meeting was told that terrorism was at its peak in 2013 when 51 incidents took place, however, the situation improved drastically as only six terror incidents were reported in 2020. Additional IG Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon said that in 2013 some 2,789 cases of killing were reported which went down to 491 in 2019.