Pakistan: Special force to be raised for tackling heinous crimes: PM

Nawaz-Sharif-5KARACHI, Sept 4 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday hinted at raising a special force to tackle heinous crimes and terrorism in order to address the law and order problems in the Sindh metropolis. He was talking to media men in an interaction at the Governor House here. The Prime Minister said that the new force would be a civilian entity with recruitment purely on merit, which would be trained on the pattern of army. Such a force can be raised in six months to one year’s time, he added. Nawaz Sharif emphasised the need of enhancing the capacity of police at the provincial and federal levels and also called for undertaking long term measures. The Prime Minister said that he was in the city for the last two days, meeting representatives of the people, local heads of political parties and of the provincial administration to elicit opinion, suggestions and recommendations in order to formulate an effective and sustained strategy for resolving the law and order problem.

He said that the interaction with media was also aimed at seeking suggestions from senior journalists in order to help address the Karachi situation. On the occasion, the Prime Minister asked the senior anchors and journalists present at the meeting to come up with their suggestions and recommendations. He said that extra-ordinary measures were required to restore peace in the metropolis and help eliminate the incidents such as extortion, kidnapping for ransom and mobile and vehicle snatching etc. Quoting figures, he said that in the year 2011 there were 300 incidents of car snatching in Karachi, which had increased to about 1,000 in 2013. The Prime Minister said everyone agreed on an operation without any delay as the business in Karachi, which is the commercial hub of the country, was suffering. There were instances in which some of the businessmen had moved out of the city. He said that Karachi was the city that belonged to the entire country and on its prevailing law and order situation everyone was pained. He said that opinions and recommendations were being sought from all the stakeholders to evolve an effective strategy for streamlining the situation. He said that the viewpoint of political parties, including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), would also be sought for improving the law and order situation in the metropolis and that they would be kept onboard. Nawaz Sharif said that he desired to come up with concrete steps for restoring peace in Karachi and the federal government would play an effective role. He also called for streamlining the process of investigation and prosecution to ensure that the accused are brought to book and the criminals get punishment from the courts. The Prime Minister pointed out that some 450 accused, who were involved in heinous crimes, were moving scot free.  Action should be taken against them, he added. He said that a team was working as to what amendments in laws could be introduced for provision of speedy justice and for this the input of judiciary would be also sought.

Nawaz Sharif said that the required amendments in the law would also be undertaken. He also agreed with a journalist that many of the crimes were committed with the usage of mobile phones and a policy at national level would have to be framed to tackle the problem of unregistered SIMs.

Prime Minister Sharif said that for the maintenance of law and order, the federal government would extend every assistance to the provinces.  A senior anchorperson, on the occasion, suggested that for the restoration of law and order in the metropolis, the law enforcement agencies be given a free hand within legal parameters. Another was of the view that for a successful operation, a consensus be forged among all the stakeholders and that the ‘Swat operation’ should serve as a model.  Yet another opined that judicial reforms should be undertaken.  An electronic media journalist stressed that the sense of fear among the residents of Karachi be brought to an end.  A senior journalist opined that constable to population ratio in the metropolis be improved and that high police officers be held accountable in case of any serious crime in their jurisdiction.  A senior anchorperson maintained that out of 29,000 strong police force in the metropolis, some 10,000 were performing security duty with the very important persons (VIPs).  A television journalist believed that Karachi problems would not be resolved without a ‘political will’. An editor maintained that the political appointees in the Sindh Police be terminated.  Another editor believed that ‘operation’ in Karachi was inevitable.  Yet another editor opined that no ‘operation’ was required, but sustained measured were needed to overcome the Karachi problem.  A female television journalist stressed that policies framed must be implemented.  A senior anchorperson suggested that an effective system of monitoring be implemented to check illegal SIMs.  The participants were appreciative of the Prime Minister’s initiative to come to Karachi for resolving the law and order problem.  Federal Minister for Information Pervaiz Rashid, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif were also presaent on the occasion.

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