The Sindh government will raise a counterterrorism force (CTF) for an integrated and coordinated action against terrorism. Additionally, the government will refer 57 terrorism cases to the military courts within 10 days for a speedy trial.
These decisions were taken in the maiden meeting of the provincial apex committee set up under the National Action Plan (NAP) against terrorism. The meeting, co-chaired by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad on Monday, also decided to set up three zonal committees to speed up NAP’s implementation.
The 1,000-strong counterterrorism force, to be raised from the provincial police, will be trained by the Pakistan Army. It will be divided into 10 companies of 100 individuals each. Karachi Corps Commander Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar promised a special training programme for the CTF.
The chief minister directed the provincial police chief to select young, dedicated and educated policemen for the CTF. “The selection should be made purely on merit and on a voluntary basis. Members of the force will be offered special incentives,” he added.
He also approved the creation of a counterterrorism department which will work under a DIG and will include three SSPs – for intelligence, operations and investigation. The provincial finance minister said his ministry would provide necessary funds for the department.
The apex committee also decided to divide the province into three zones – Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur – to be looked after by three zonal committees that will ensure execution of a provincial action plan against terrorism.
The Karachi zonal committee will comprise Rangers’ director general, commissioner, AIG police (Karachi) and three sector commanders of Rangers.
Similarly, the Hyderabad zonal committee will comprise Hyderabad’s general officer commanding, commissioners and DIGs of three divisions, and Rangers’ sector commander. This committee will look after Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Shaheed Benazirabad divisions.
The Sukkur zonal committee will oversee Sukkur and Larkana divisions and will comprise Panno Aqil’s general officer commanding, commissioners and DIGs of Sukkur and Larkana divisions and Rangers’ sector commander.
Brigadier Ahsan Gulrez of 5 Corps told the meeting that these committees would be responsible for the execution of the action plan against terrorism in their respective zones.
“The action plan envisages action against proscribed organisations, sectarian terrorism and armed militias. It also calls for choking terror financing and deploying a dedicated counterterrorism force,” he said.
Approving the formation of zones, Chief Minister Shah said, “I want Sindh to be purged of terrorism.”
The committee also decided to expand the scope of the ongoing targeted operation in Karachi to other sensitive districts of Sindh, including Hyderabad and Sukkur. The operation will be conducted by the police and Rangers under the army’s supervision.
The chief minister directed IG Sindh Police Ghulam Hyder Jamali to refer cases of hardcore terrorists to the military courts within 10 days. Earlier, IG Jamali said 57 cases were ready to be referred to the military courts. It was also decided that cases involving Jiay Sindh Muttahida Mahaz, a banned outfit responsible for attacks on railway tracks, will also be referred to the military courts.
Governor Ebad told the meeting that necessary arrangements should be made to repatriate foreigners, particularly illegal Afghan refugees.
“Those who have managed to get national identity cards must be identified and sent back,” he said.
The meeting also approved action against wall-chalking and directed the chief secretary to write a letter to all DCs to take necessary measures to remove wall-chalking. Earlier, the participants offered prayer for the martyrs of the Shikarpur Imambargah blast.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 3rd, 2015.
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