KARACHI - Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that appeasement of one group may have serious repercussions as the other sectarian outfits may also demand the same gesture, therefore, a nation-wide consensus is required by all the stakeholders to deal with these home-grown problems.

This he said on Thursday while addressing a 60-member delegation of National Security Workshop of National Defence University here at CM House. The programme was attended by provincial ministers, Imtiaz Shaikh, Nasir Shah, Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, ACS Home Qazi Shahid Pervez, Chairman P&D Hassan Naqvi, provincial secretaries and Additional IG Karachi. 

Mr Shah said that the National Security was understood as strengthening military and other law enforcement agencies against external aggression and internal threats. “The concept of National Security has evolved overtime to include food security, health security, energy security and environment security and others,” he said and added [former] Prime Minister Shaheed Mohatarma Benazir Bhutto had also named 5-Es: Employment, Education, Energy, Environment and Equality for prosperous future of the country in 2008. 

The CM said that the Post September 9/11 the biggest threat that Pakistan has faced was from terrorism and extremism. “Sindh like other parts of Pakistan is no more immune to the security challenges such as  IS Challenges which include Extremism among religious/ sectarian subsets, Terrorism, Narcotics trade and Arms proliferation and Illegal Immigrants,” he said and added like other provinces of Pakistan, Sindh has also witnessed sectarian conflicts.

He said that in recent times, some extremist parties and or other sectarian organisations have emerged as a product of post 9/11 narratives, wherein Sufi Islam was promoted to counter the extremist ideologies of Al-Qaeda and its allied groups. “Now the range of sectarian conflict has scaled up to conflict also. A banned and now `unbanned’ has challenged the writ of the state in recent times.

Murad Shah said that mob violence, intolerance, vigilante justice towards religious minorities was a consistent threat to peace and order in the society. “Appeasement of one group may have serious repercussions as the other sectarian outfits may also demand the same gesture, therefore, according to him a nationwide consensus is required by all the stakeholders to deal with this homegrown problem.

Talking about Sindh police, the Chief Minister said that the overall budget of the provincial police for current financial years was Rs106 billion. He added that the performance of the police had improved considerably. “Due to corrective measures and day-to-day targeted search operations, the situation with regard to targeted killing in Karachi has improved.  The CM said that in 2014 Karachi was at number six in the World Crime Index and now it had improved to 122 in 2021. Presently, Caracas of Venezuela is on the top, Kuala Lumpur at 42, Chicago at 44, Birmingham 74. Delhi 77, Washington 83, Tehran 112 and Karachi at 122. “This is our success story,” he said. 

Mr Shah said that he had undertaken a large number of development works. “After constructing Shahrah-e-Faisal, Tariq Road, University Road and various underpasses and flyovers we have constructed a road to Manora,” he said and added it would attract tourism and image of the city.   

The Chief Minister said that his government was working on development of road Infrastructure especially in Katcha Areas, Establishment of Special Protection Unit for Minority Worship Places, Karachi Safe City Project, Forensic Science Laboratory Project, Rehabilitation Centres for drug addicts, Housing Schemes for police officers, installation of tracker device in motorbikes and provision of mini scanners to Sindh Police.

The Chief Minister welcomed different political and non-political questions from the participants and answered. The CM presented a shield to the NDU head Major General Ehsan Mehmood and the NDU head also presented a memento of his institution.