Sindh government stick to its stand on seminaries

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Salahuddin Haider

Sindh government has stuck to its guns on 94 seminaries, suspecting their involvement
in terrorism, and has again sent a reply to the federal government which had disagreed with its assessment. The cabinet also disapproved a proposal from Local Government department to remove Mayors, Chairmen and heads of Union adn Town Committees through administrative measures, and decided that their removal from office must be through no-confidence vote.
It was evident from the comments of Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and discussion at Friday’s cabinet meeting in Karachi that the provincial administration believed firmly that lives and property of its citizens were at stake because of the suspicious activities of 94 seminaries located in the province. Just a couple of weeks ago, it had submitted their list to Islamabad, requesting action against these so called institutions, but the latter returned the 46-page report of the southern province, but Murad Ali Shah’s colleagues stood firmly on ground communicating a counter-reply to the Centre’s 3-page objections.
Shah was quoted as saying that that his government would never allow terrorists and religious fanatics to keep playing with the lives of innocent people even if the federal government refuses to cooperate which is evident from the response of Ministry of Interior to 94 madrassas involved in supporting or penetrating terrorism.
The meeting was attended by all the ministers and special assistants were invited especially to participate. Among them were Nisar Khuhro, Manzoor ssan, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani,.
The chief minister repeated his earlier stand that that in the last apex committee meeting, it was made clear with proof, evidence etc, that these seminaries were involved in promoting terrorism and the federal government was asked to ban these. The evidenc was solid, gathered from the terrorists arrested by Law Enforcement Agencies and they had revealed startling disclosures against the said madaris.
“we have sent them reply of their letter and would see and definitely see what action they are going to take and this would ascertain their seriousness to eliminate terrorism from the country,” he said. During the meeting IG police, A D Khawaja maintained that the crime rate had come down in the province, in 2016 compared to 2015. He also presented figures to substantiate his claim. A cursory glance at these statistics would show that terrorism come down to 15 percent, extortion to 27 percent,kidnapping for ransom to 12 perceent, murders to 29 percent, and dacoity to 21 percent.. Khawja insisted that that vilence had decreased in KPK and Sindh, while it has increased in FATA, Punjab, and Balochistan,
He added that 60 percent decrease has been witnessed in causalities of Law enforcement agencies personnel. However while the chief minister appreciated this, but still felt that public outcry did have substance, which meant that the police had failed to control the crime in the province.. Khawaja maintained that decrease was also notice to 24 percent in in mobile snatchig, to 34 percetn decrease in 4-wheeler snatching , and 14 percent to 4-wheleer theft, two-wheeler snatching has come down to 13 percent and their snatching to 14 percent.
Quoting figures, he said in 2015 some 21028 mobile phones were snatched while in 2016 the snatching was record at 16010. Similarly there 336 incidents of four wheeler snatching and in 2016 it was recorded at 221. The four wheeler theft in 2015 was 1805 while in 2016 it was at 1559. The snatching of two wheelers was 2843 in 2015 and it declined to 2473 in 2016 but the theft of two wheelers which was 18087 in 2015 increased to 22,358 in 2016.
The chief minister however, looked dissatisfied and ordered the IG to take strict action and mobilise his force, including officers, and SHOs to bring the rate further down. Public must feel satisfied, he said. “Crime must be brought down to zero, for we can not feel happy at mere decrease in crime rate. The people have seen a lot of bloodshed and now he wanted smiles on their faces.
The Home department had floated a proposal to the cabinet for granting permission to issue new arms licenses. Briefing the cabinet, Home Secretary Shakeel Mangnijo said that 1063315 arms licenses have been issued throughout province. The home department has received 473,347 arms licenses for registration, of them 198,426 have revalidated/registered and still over 500,000 licenses have not been filed for registration which the department considers as cancelled.
On this the chief minister said that permission of issuing new licenses could not be granted now. He directed home secretary to expedite the registration work of the linceses he has received so far. The local government has brought an amendment in Sindh Local Government Act 2013 in Section 25 of SLGA -2013 under which a mechanism for removal of chairman, vice chairman and Mayor was to be approved.
The cabinet did not approve the proposed amendment saying that the removal of the elected Mayor, Chairman etc should be through vote of confidence. However, the cabinet formed a committee under Senior Minister Nisar Khuhro, Mir Hazar Khan bijarani, Murtaza Wahab, Burhan Chandio, Syed Qasim Shah and others to examine the proposed amendment and give its recommendation. The cabinet also discussed insertion of new section in CrPC making DNA testing mandatory in rape cases. The proposal was that within 72 hours of the rape incident DNA samples must be collected by concerned police officer for testing.
The cabinet approved the proposal in principle but formed a committee to examine the entire clause and propose addition and deletion in the draft. A detailed mechanism may also be proposed to collect samples and also suggest penalty/punishment in case the concerned officer fails to collect the samples. The cabinet also discussed some other legislative issues and formed some committee. However, the chief minister directed the IG police to vacate the DIG office housed in social welfare department hostel.
Sindh Chief Minister on Wednesday approved the summary to grant special powers to Pakistan Rangers expired on January 10. After the approval of the chief minister the home department has moved the summary to the Ministry of Interior for necessary action. Meanwhile, Sindh Cabinet has decided to fix wheat procurement target for the forthcoming procurement season at 1.2 million tons. It may be noted that last year it was 11 lac tons.