KARACHI – The Sindh government’s allocation for the police force for the fiscal year 2012-13 has been budgeted at Rs39.30 billion, showing an increase of Rs9 billion against current year’s allocation of Rs30 billion. In his budget speech, Finance Minister Murad Ali Shah held that the law and order and public safety remained a top priority of the government. Arguing in favour of his proposition, the minister said the police budget showed a constant increase of up to 131 percent during the first four years of the PPP-led government’s five-year term, with the law enforcement allocation budgeted at Rs17.02 billion in the financial year 2007-08.Showcasing the ruling party’s efforts against crimes and violence, Murad Shah maintained that despite all odds, the government, with active support from its coalition partners, succeeded in improving the security situation across its territory. “In 2008, street crimes were rampant in Karachi, and highway robberies and abductions in rural Sindh,” recalled the minister.Realising that strengthening of the Sindh Police was required for sustainable peace, Murad Shah asserted that the current situation needed to be dealt with professional management coupled with latest technology.He also said that President Asif Ali Zardari announced a package of Rs5 billion for the Sindh Police to acquire APCs, vehicles, arms and ammunition to strengthen its capacity.Besides, a surveillance network had been put up in Karachi at a cost of Rs690 million to monitor main roads and streets round the clock. He averred that the surveillance system deployment of APCs would significantly enhance the capacity of the Sindh Police.He further said that around 4,444 constables were recruited, besides formation of a 1,000-personnel Rapid Response Force (RRF) and 2000-men Special Security Unit to respond to major terror threats and high-value targets. Seven hundred vehicles (police mobile pick-ups) had been replaced, while APCs/riot control vehicles, water tenders, patrol cars had also added to the existing fleet.