Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that Sindh is the land of Sufis, therefore under the influence of saintly people like Shah Bhittai, Sachal Sarmat, Lal Shahbaz Qaladaner and others the people of this province believe in coexistence and are above the religious-sectarian considerations.
“That is why not a single terrorist has emerged from this land so far though it has been galvanized by extremists and fanatics who landed here after Afghan war,” he said, while addressing a 50-member delegation of faculty members and student-officers of Command and Staff College Quetta who called on him here on Monday at Chief Minister House on their study tour.
Murad said the province of Sindh has suffered a lot at the hands of dictators. General Zia penetrated over a million Afghanis refugees in Sindh. As a result, drugs and Kalashnikov landed here along with the immigrants and badly destroyed the peaceful plural society of the province, he said, adding, this was the period when people were divided into sectarian and linguistic grounds.
The law and order in the whole province became so precarious that Karachi turned into no-go areas and in the rest of Sindh dacoits established their sway, Murad said, adding, the highways were unsafe to travel and kidnapping for ransom had become the order of the day.
“In Karachi different gangs, terrorists and out-laws had challenged the state. Kidnapping for ransom, target killing, extortion and terrorism tore apart the socio-economic fabric of the city,” he recalled.
Murad said the successive governments launched some cleanup operations in the city but no operation could produce congenial results. The policemen who had participated in the operations have died in target killing when the operations were called-off, he added.
The police force lost their confidence and morale to perform therefore their efficiency came to standstill, he pointed out.
“The Sindh government with its political will and support of people of Karachi started targeted operation and restored two-decade-old worst law and order situation. The law enforcement agencies worked hard and made the bloodless targeted operation successful,” he said.
He said that his government made recruitments in police purely on merit, developed their capacity by giving them special training by Pakistan Army, enhanced their salaries, equipped them with latest weapons and compensation for the families of the policemen who lost their lives in the line of their duties.
These measures improved our overall policing system across the province, he added.
Talking about his development efforts, Murad said after the restoration of peace, he has given special focus to the development of infrastructure in Karachi, Hyderabad and other districts of the province.
“Sindh is the only province in the country which has constructed two bridges on the River Indus,” he said, adding that the third one would be built on the River Indus at Kandhkot-Ghotki.
80-year old drainage lines have been replaced in Saddar, storms water drains have been reconstructed, underpasses and bridges are being built, apart from attracting investment in the province so that employment opportunities could be generated, he added.
Murad briefed the visiting army officers about the efforts of Sindh government in health sector, education and poverty alleviation.
He said that PPP has developed a new political culture of co-existence and “we have never victimized any political opponent,” he said while responding to the queries of the officers.
The home secretary gave them a presentation on law and order while chairman P&D briefed the participants about development portfolio of the province.