KARACHI/RAWALPINDI: An atmosphere of fear is prevailing in Karachi after the murder of eminent Qawwal Amjad Sabri and the abduction of Barrister Owais Ali Shah, son of the chief justice of the Sindh High Court (SHC), after which the judiciary is also under pressure. Utv Pakistan Report
Chief Justice of Pakistan Anwar Zaheer Jamali on Saturday said judges have also become insecure after the abduction of the SHC chief justice’s son. He directed the chief secretary, IG Sindh and DG Rangers in separate meetings at the Supreme Court’s Karachi Registry to ensure the early recovery of Barrister Owais
Police and other officials briefed the chief justice about the kidnapping of Barrister Owais and measures taken so far by the Sindh government for the recovery of the abductee. Owais, who was also teaching at the SM Law College, was kidnapped by unidentified persons on June 20 outside a super store situated in the Clifton area.
Showing serious concern over the issue, the chief justice directed the authorities to take effective and concerted measures to ensure the recovery of the son of the SHC chief justice. He said that the kidnapping has sent a wrong message to the general public and has caused disappointment and a sense of insecurity among the judges and their families.
He directed the chief secretary to employ all resources to ensure an improvement in the law and order situation in Sindh in general and Karachi in particular.
Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said the security agencies have made important leads in the murder case of Amjad Sabri and the kidnapping of Owais Ali Shah.
He said 10 million rupees each have been announced for people who will provide information which will lead to the arrest of the culprits behind the kidnapping of Owais Ali Shah and the murder of Amjad Sabri.
While addressing the Sindh Assembly session, Qaim Ali Shah said 400 police personnel and 40 rangers personnel have been martyred during the Karachi operation. He said the kidnapping of Owais Ali Shah is an attempt to pressure the judiciary.
He said there was peace in Sindh prior to the two incidents, adding that the prime minister and army chief personally appreciated the efforts of the Sindh government and law enforcement agencies for the law and order of Karachi.
He said bomb blasts and terrorist incidents also occurred in Peshawar and Quetta but no one protested there.
Allaying fears of the MQM, being the main opposition party of the province having a following in the urban areas, the chief minister said the ongoing targeted operation in Karachi was completely free of vindictiveness, and was not biased and targeted against any particular political party, group or community.
“The operation in Karachi could have failed, had it not been fair, transparent and across-the-board as these are the features owing to which the operation has been successful,” said the CM.
He said that the suburban Malir and Mangophir areas of the city had also witnessed an operation by the law-enforcement agencies against unlawful elements while a majority of people who had lost their lives due to the operation in Lyari were locals of Baloch origin.
The CM said that since the launch of the targeted operation in Karachi, he had never instructed the law-enforcement authorities to arrest any person or take action against any particular group as he had always wanted that the operation should remain free of vindictiveness. He said the targeted operation had been highly successful in restoring peace and the law and order situation in the city as the menacing situation of target killings, kidnapping for ransom, extortion of money had been controlled to a large extent.
The CM said that his government had provided the latest weapons, equipment and training to the police while the latest inductions of constables and ASIs (assistant sub-inspectors) had been made through a completely transparent process. He said that his government had wanted to procure the latest armoured personnel carriers for the police but it had been stopped in the name of accountability. He said that the police had been able to nab high-profile criminals, terrorists and lawless elements while several of the militants had been killed in encounters. He said the police had arrested 15,000 criminals who had been absconding from the law.
The CM said that his govt had taken all the required steps for restoring peace in the province as 80 cases had been referred by the provincial authorities to be decided by military trial courts. He said that in the current year, the police had sent charge-sheets related to 707 criminal cases to the courts and 590 of such cases had been decided.
He said the federal agencies had been given powers as per the law to detain suspected criminals and terrorists for a period of 90 days for interrogation and investigation but the term of such powers had expired. Shah acknowledged in his speech that the Rangers while taking part in targeted operations in Karachi had not been working under his command but rather under the command of the Interior Ministry in Islamabad.
The CM also talked about the invasion-like situation the provincial government institutions had to face owing to the stepped up drive of the federal agencies including NAB and the FIA in the province against corrupt practices in previous months. He recalled one such brazen act in which a team of the Federal Investigation Agency had raided the building of the Civic Centre in Karachi, in which the raiding team had taken away 14,000 to 15,000 files pertaining to land revenue and other important land records pertaining to the KMC without any authorisation. He said although the director FIA concerned had made a commitment with him to return these files in a couple of days but the promise remained unfulfilled. He said that FIA had taken such a step although it had a mandate only to look into offences and crimes related to federal institutions.
Meanwhile, Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the government is committed to eliminate terrorism.
Talking to the media after attending a condolence reference for the departed soul of senior PML-N leader Muhammad Irshad in Rawalpindi, the minister said cowardly acts of terrorism could not deter the resolve of the government and intelligence agencies to root out the menace from the country.
Chaudhry Nisar said terrorists were targeting soft targets like renowned Qawwal Amjad Sabri, which was showing their frustration. He said the security and intelligence agencies were making efforts for maintaining peace and security in the country, which were appreciable. The minister said the arrest of spies of foreign countries was ample proof of their performance.
Nisar said the law and order situation had improved due to the successful efforts of the law enforcement agencies, who were fully geared up to face any kind of challenge. He condemned the killing of Amjad Sabri and the abduction of the son of the Sindh High Court chief justice. “Such cowardly terrorist acts would further boost the nation’s commitment against the menace of terrorism,” he said.
Nisar said even the most developed countries like the United States and France had to witness a few terrorist incidents despite all kinds of security arrangements in place.