KARACHI: Security agencies on Thursday warned that the 'slow' implementation of the National Action Plan in Sindh was hampering the fight against terrorism in the country.
Officials belonging to security institutions made the statements during a Sindh apex committee meeting chaired by Sindh CM Qaim Ali Shah at the CM House.
Read: Rangers to keep policing powers in Karachi: Nisar
The registration of seminaries also came under discussion, with officials being informed that there was a total 9,600 seminaries in Sindh, of which 6,500 were registered.
“This is the same figure that was presented in first meeting of the apex committee. We want to know what action has been taken against unregistered seminaries,” said an unconvinced Corps Commander Karachi Lieutenant General Naveed Mukhar to Sindh’s home secretary.
The home secretary informed the committee that action is being taken against unregistered seminaries, while also assuring the Karachi corps commander that an updated list would be presented during the next meeting.
Read: Apex committee decides to expand scope of Karachi operation
Addressing the meeting in the early minutes, Sindh’s chief minister and Karachi’s corps commander reiterated that the ongoing operation against terrorists would continue in Sindh, irrespective of party affiliations.
The meeting was also attended by Sindh Governor Dr Ishartul Ebad Khan, DG Ranger Major General Bilal Akbar, Home Secretary Mukhtiar Soomro, Home Minister Anwar Siyal, Sindh Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah, Dr Sikandar Mandhro, minister for parliamentary affairs and officials of home, intelligence agencies and law departments.
Bilawal Bhutto meets Karachi Corps Commander, DG Rangers
In a first for the PPP chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari held separate meetings with Corps Commander Karachi and DG Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar before the apex committee meeting.
Sindh chief minister was present during the meeting but it was Bilawal’s first official meeting with the heads of key security institutions.
According to the CM House spokesperson, the law and order situation was discussed during the meeting.
While Bilawal expressed concern over raids conducted by Rangers at various government departments in Sindh, DG Rangers assured the PPP chairman of not taking unilateral action.
“All action will be taken with consultation of the Sindh government,” said Major General Bilal Akbar.
According to sources, General Mukhtar argued terorrists had taken shelter in Sindh government departments due to negligence of the provincial government, but was assured by Sindh CM of action against corrupt elements.
The Karachi operation was initiated by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in September 2013 to rid the metropolitan of criminal elements, irrespective of their political, ethnic or religious affiliation.
Further, in the wake of the Peshawar tragedy in December 2014, the NAP was approved by the entire political leadership to eliminate terrorism from the country.
The apex committees – headed by chief ministers of the provinces and comprising army officials and political leadership – were also formed in all the provinces for the implementation of the NAP.
‘Zero tolerance for supporters of terrorists’
Meanwhile, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon told media after the meeting there will be zero tolerance for people who support terrorists.
Informing about decisions taken during the meeting, Memon said terrorists who ran away after committing crimes would also be arrested.
“Banned outfits still exist in society, and we will take actions against them,” he said. “Those seminaries that train or brainwash people, will be cracked down upon.”
He agreed there were seminaries that spread knowledge but said seminaries involved in hate speech and preaching extremism will be brought to the book.
“Elements misused by foreign enemies will also be apprehended soon,” he said. “We will eliminate terrorism from Sindh.”
Sindh has the least crime rate keeping view the population and number of terrorists in the past, added the information minister.