Sindh cabinet approves installation of CCTV cameras at 4154 high sensitive polling stations

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KARACHI : The Sindh cabinet on Friday approved installation of closed-circuit Television (CCTV) cameras at 4154 highly sensitive polling stations to record polling proceedings and to ensure transparency.

Caretaker Sindh Chief Minister, Fazlur Rehman chaired the meeting of Provincial Cabinet held at New Sindh Secretariat and attended by all the caretaker provincial ministers, chief secretary Major (Retd) Azam Suleman, IG Police Sindh Amjad Javed Saleemi and concerned provincial secretaries.

Fazlur Rehman said that the main task of the caretaker government is to pave way for free, fair and transparent election by providing all the basic facilities and maintain law and order. “We have to maintain public order, pre-empt terrorist threats, implement code of conduct, he said.

He said that the caretaker government has to ensure pre-polls and polling day security measures and security of polling staff and material.

Briefing the Cabinet, Chief Secretary Major (Retd) Azam Suleman said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) through divisional and district administration has identified 4,154 high sensitive polling stations in Sindh which include 1977 in Karachi, 1206 in Hyderabad, 176 in Mirpurkhas, 124 in Shaheed Benazir, 289 Sukkur and 382 in Larkana.

He said that there would be around 17606 polling stations, of them 4350 are most sensitive, 7999 sensitive and 5257 normal.

The Provincial Cabinet also discussed the security arrangements of all the polling stations and decided to install surveillance cameras along with the arrangement of generators at all the polling station. The cabinet directed the finance department to release Rs600 million for installation of cameras and the generators.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Saleemi giving presentation to the cabinet said that general law and order situation in the province is satisfactory. However, law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies are constantly conveying threats. He added that the polarized environment due to general election may also cause law and order situation, including clashes between political groups. On this the chief minister said that nobody would be allowed to take law in his hands.

Lauding targeted Karachi operation, the IGP said the terrorism was on the peak in 2013 when 51 terrorism incidents took place and now in 2018 it has come to zero. Similarly, target killing which was also at its peak in 2013 when 509 incidents had taken has come down to only two cases in 2018. Kidnapping for ransom was recorded at 109 in 2010 has come down to eight in 2018.

Mr. Saleemi said that there was potential threat of terrorism during election but all the law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies were working on close coordination to thwart all kind of threats.

The IGP said that eight policemen would be deployed at most sensitive polling station, four at sensitive and two at normal polling station. Under the security plan, the IG said 106,982 policemen, including 16000 reserves would be deployed at all the polling station. He added that a force of 76,310 policemen would be deployed at polling stations and 14,672 would be on patrolling.

Secretary Home Mohammad Haroon briefing the cabinet about salient features of security protocol for political leaders said it includes no hate speech, no hoisting of flags or banners on public property/buildings/poles; no wall chalking on public property. The political parties would have to obtain NOC for large public gatherings and rallies, corner meetings and small gathering from the concerned deputy commissioners and SSPs. He added that route of public rallies of political parties would be determined in consultation with concerned DCS and SSPs at least three days earlier than the schedule.

It was pointed out that the security of the political parties and candidates would be their own responsibility, however Sindh police would be responsible for overall security of locality, area, venue and persons/public gathering at large. The political leaders may, however, deploy private security guards in uniform and with licensed arms for their personal security subject.

The organizers of political events have been urged to record the proceedings of the event and provide recording to the local police.

The Home Secretary meeting was told that election law & Order cell was being established in Home department for close coordination among LEAs, IGP office and field offices to monitor the election. Control Rooms at provincial, divisional and district levels would be established three days ahead of elections to monitor the law and order.

The Cabinet on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of Sindh High Court approved the appointment of Advocate Mohammad Hanif as Judge ATC Court No.IV Karachi, Muzafar Hussain as judge ATC NO.XI Karachi and Mohammad Khan Buriro as judge of ATC No. X Karachi. The cabinet on the recommendation of Chief Justiuce of High Court of Sindh also appointed Mr Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto as Incharge Administrative Judge ATCs, Karachi Division for the portion of summer vacation from July 02, to August 04, 2018.

MD Water Board Khalid Shaikh briefed the cabinet about regularization of sub-soil water supply to industries in Karachi. The regulations shall be in force for a period of three years and extendable for further terms subject to availability of sub soil water. All licenses would be granted by MD KWSB on prescribed form upon written request of Presidents/Chairman of concerned Estate Associates along with the NOC by the MD also approved the regularization policy of sub-soil water supply to industries.

The MD said that the tube well and must be situated at the maximum distance from KWSB lines. The licensee shall pay in advance Rs90,000 per bore hole as one time security deposit which would be forfeited in case of non-payment of water charges. A non-refundable license fee shall be charged from the permit holder at the rate Rs100,000 per bore hole before commencement of the supply.

The cabinet also approved collection of Royalty under Sindh Mining Concession Rules 2002.

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