KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly is set to introduce improved security measures both inside and outside the assembly building from its next session, which is scheduled to be held on June 11.
According to speaker Agha Siraj Durrani, the system will be continued for every assembly session and no one, including lawmakers, media, assembly staff and visitors, will be allowed in the building without giving their fingerprints.
TV channel team apprehended after exposing Sindh Assembly's 'poor security'
The improved security system has been introduced after the 'sting operation' led by a private TV channel anchor who entered the assembly premises during the last session carrying gun in order to expose the assembly's poor security measures. Since then, the assembly secretariat has cancelled all media passes issued on the recommendation of the Sindh information department and has decided to issue new passes to reporters after proper verification.
"Despite having the passes, no one will be allowed inside the assembly until or unless they give their biometrics," Sindh Assembly secretary GM Umar Farooq told The Express Tribune.
He said that six of the latest biometric machines have been installed in the assembly and three scanning machines have been placed in order to check the bags of people attending the session.
The assembly's old cafeteria has been turned into a monitoring room where around a dozen LCD monitors have been installed in order to monitor outside activities with the help of 140 CCTV cameras installed in the assembly premises. "We have trained our staff and will watch the activities of people attending the session," explained the secretary.
Sting operation aftermath: Strict security irks lawmakers
Durrani told the media that the Sindh Assembly is the only assembly in Pakistan which has given permission to the media for live coverage but unfortunately a 'so-called anchor' took advantage of being a journalist and entered the assembly session to stage a 'drama'.
He said there was also a security threat to the assembly, which is why the security measures were heightened in order to prevent any untoward incident.
No new provinces
Durrani criticised the Muttahida Qaumi Movement for its demand to carve out a new province from Sindh. "Those who are talking about the disintegration of Sindh are mentally sick," he said, adding that no one can dare to divide Sindh on an ethnic basis. "Sindh has a unique culture and history. Sindh is the province, which took the lead in adopting a resolution to create Pakistan and welcomed Muslim brothers coming from India but unfortunately a few people have started demanding to crumble Sindh for their vested interest," he lamented. "This demand will not be fulfilled, come what may," he vowed.
Commenting on former prime minister Shaukat Aziz's interview, he said, "Mr Aziz is equally responsible for wrongs in Pakistan and the murder case of Benazir Bhutto should also be registered against him."
Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2016.
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