‘Afghan war tore apart fabric of pluralistic society in Karachi’

F.P Report

KARACHI: 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 religio-sectarian considerations.

“This is why not a single terrorist has emerged from this land so far though it has been galvanized with extremists and fanatics who landed here after Afghan war.

This he said while addressed a 50-member delegation of faculty members and student-officers of Command and Staff College Quetta who called don him here at CM House on their study tour.

The chief minister said that the province of Sindh has suffered a lot at the hands of dictators. General Zia penetrated over 10 lac Afghanis in Sindh. As a result, heroin and Kalashnikov landed here along with the immigrants and badly destroyed peaceful plural society of the province. He added that this was the period when people were divided on 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. He added the highways were unsafe to travel and kidnapping for ransom had become 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 Shah said that the successive governments launched some cleanup operations in the city but no operation could produce congenial results. He added that the policemen who had participated in the operations were killed in target when the operations were called off. The police force lost their confidence and morale to perform; therefore their efficiency came to standstill.

“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 went on saying his government made recruitments in police purely on merit, developed their capacity by giving them special trainings by Pakistan Army, enhanced their salaries, and equipped them with latest weapons and compensation for the families of the policemen who lost their lives in the line of their duties. He added that these measures improved our policing system.

Talking about his development efforts, the chief minister said that after 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 and added that the third one would be built on the River Indus at Kandhkot-Ghotki. He said that 80-year old drainage lines have been replaced in Saddar, storms water drains have been reconstructed, underpasses and bridges ae being built, apart from attracting investment in the province so that employment opportunities could be generated.

Murad Shah briefed the visiting army officers about the efforts of his government in health sector, education and poverty alleviation. He added that PPP has developed a new political culture of co-existence and “we have never victimized any political opponent,” he said. The answered the question of the officers also. The home secretary gave them presentation on law and order while chairman P&D briefed the participants about development portfolio of the province.