KARACHI - Stressing strict implementation of the Protection of Pakistan Ordinance, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday directed the Sindh government and the law enforcement agencies to shift terrorists to other provinces for trials so that safety of prosecutors and witnesses could be ensured.

The prime minister issued these directives while chairing a meeting to review law and order situation here at Governor House.

Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister observed that restoration of peace in Karachi was of vital importance as it was the economic hub of the country having immense potential.

“Karachi operation will continue till fulfillment of its objectives,” he said and added, “I stand by police and Rangers and they should treat criminals as criminals and must not care about the criminals’ affiliations.”

He directed that all illegal cellular phone SIMs should be blocked and biometrics system be henceforth used for issuance of new SIMs.

During the meeting, the prime minister was informed that request for establishment of new anti-terrorism courts and appointment of new judges had been sent to the Chief Justice Sindh High Court.

It was also informed that 41 fake or proxy prisoners were identified through Nadra verification process as these persons had been in prisons in place of real criminals.

Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, present during the meeting, assured that an inquiry would be held in this matter. The PM emphasised that high value and hardened criminals should be tried in other provinces and mafias inside jails be dismantled.

Sharif was briefed that since September this year a total of 63,475 raids and 455 encounters took place, while 74 target killers and terrorists were arrested.

Sharif said, “Today people look with envy towards cities like Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. I wish to see Karachi in this list of harbours and industrial hubs because I believe in the people of this city.”

He said the people of Karachi had been yearning for the Federal Government to lend them a hand in bringing back its peace and economic activity.

The meeting was attended by Dr Ishrat-ul-Ibad, Khawaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal, chief secretary Sindh, DG Rangers, Sindh IG and other senior government officers.

Separately, the prime minister on Tuesday performed the ground-breaking of country’s largest civil nuclear power plant designed to generate 2,200 MW of electricity.

Sharif termed the ground-breaking of the Coastal Power Project K-2 and K-3 “a proud moment in the energy history of Pakistan” and said it was one of the first steps towards the goal of a “load-shedding-free” Pakistan.

“I am grateful to the Chinese government for extending help and support to Pakistan in this hour of need,” he said. He described it as a momentous landmark in the long and glorious history of Pak-China friendship and cooperation.

He said the commencement of the project took the strong relationship between the two nations to an even higher level.

Sharif said he had “vowed to toil to see a Pakistan which is secure, democratic, tolerant and with equal opportunities for all; a Pakistan where the business, trade and agriculture flourish; a Pakistan, where the capable and efficient will be treated on merit; where minds are open to new ideas and new ways of development. And this is not a mere dream. It always seems impossible until it is done.”

He prayed to Allah Almighty to help him change the destiny of the nation, as he had pledged to the people.

He said his government was fully committed to steer Pakistan to an era of sustained economic growth, which would alleviate poverty and bring a prosperous future for its 180 million people.

He said the government had decided to construct Diamer-Bhasha and Dasu dams simultaneously, besides building the Bunji Dam. These dams have total power generation capacity of 15,000 megawatts from the Indus River, he added.

Sharif said he was informed that six additional sites had been identified where similar projects could be set up, and assured his full support in that regard.

He said the project would take 72 months to complete. He, however, urged the engineers to complete it at the earliest because Pakistan needed power for a strong economy.

He said in next few years, he was looking forward to laying a strong and solid foundation for the Nuclear Energy Vision 2050, envisaging nuclear power generation of about 40,000 MW for a strong, prosperous, and dynamic Pakistan.

The prime minister urged the Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan’s power projects, assuring that the government would facilitate them in every way.

He congratulated the Strategic Plans Division and Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission on the groundbreaking of its fifth and the largest power project.

“I wish them success in the coming years in the realisation of Energy Vision - 2050.”