Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah directed the law department on Monday, while presiding over a meeting of the Apex Committee, to expedite the process of appointing session judges and additional judges exclusively to hear cases pertaining to street crime. Besides, the CM requested the anti-terrorism courts to speed up the hearing of cases under their jurisdiction.
"Terrorists have no ethnicity, religion, language and nationality. We have to keep our city, the province and the country safe and secure," the chief minister told the 25 participants present in the meeting which included the corps commander and DG Rangers.
Different agencies, briefing the meeting, apprised that terrorist groups were using social media to organise their groups and try to collect donations.
Meanwhile, the home department officials informed the meeting that the Anti-Terrorism Financing Unit (ATFU), dedicated for the Counter-Terrorism Force, had confiscated Rs10.25 billion from 2015 to 2020. It registered 144 cases and arrested 90 accused, of which 19 had been convicted, appeals were pending of 10 accused while 37 were acquitted.
The meeting noted that in the National Immunisation Drive (NID) refusal cases were on rise in Sindh and Karachi. During last NID, held between November to December 20, around 154,142 cases were reported in Sindh. A host of factors, including negative social media campaign, lack of awareness and societal pressure are contributing towards this trend. It was decided that religious scholars be asked to play a proactive role to address this issue.
The Apex Committee was set up in 2015 after the Army Public School Peshawar tragedy. The meeting on Monday was held after a gap of many months.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2021.
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