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KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah was visibly moved on Sunday to see the returning of the city’s old grandeur, sectarian harmony, people busy in their routine life carrying out their business, with crowded food streets reminiscent of the past when Karachi used to be the ‘city of lights’.

The visit, which took him to different parts of the city, from localities such as Clifton and DHA to congested old city areas of Kharadar to Gurumandir via M.A. Jinnah Road, saw him mingling freely with people. The chief minister visited a sabeel at Numaish, walked on foot to Nishtar Park, where he listened to the khitab of Allama Talib Jauhri. He went to Jamia Binoria, where he offered Maghrib paryers and also had a meeting with administrator of the Jamia Abdul Razzaq Iskandar and others where students of the seminary gave him a warm welcome.

The chief minister, who was accompanied by transport minister Nasir Hussain Shah, local bodies minister Jam Khan Shoro, IG of police A.D. Khowaja, Commissioner of Karachi, AIG of Karachi Mushtaq Mahar and others, also heard problems of people at different places. During his visit to the Preedy police station, he gave directives to the police chief to ensure that SHOs also sat in their offices besides necessary patrolling, and look into problems of people.

The chief minister, talking to the media at different places, said he went to listen to Majlis at Nishtar Par and offered Maghrib prayers at the Binori Town mosque to promote sectarian harmony in the province in general and in the city in particular.

At Gurumandir he ate Chhola Chaat with his cabinet members.

The chief minister started his visit of the city from Clifton via Mai Kolachi, went to Kharadar where he visited Hussainia Iranian Imambargah, then travelled through the streets of Lyari to Soldier Bazar, where he met shopkeepers. He urged the shopkeepers to close their shops for the construction of their street roads. “If you cooperate with me, I will construct your streets within five days,” he said. He listened to the problems of the people who gathered to receive him.

The chief minister, whose jeep was driven by the transport minister, turned to M.A. Jinnah Road to inspect the route of the Muharram procession and issued necessary directives to the IGP who briefed him on the arrangements.

From Plaza Market, he turned to the Preedy police station and went inside. He met the suspects kept in the lock-up of the police station and asked them if they had any issues.

He also met a complainant sitting in the waiting room of the police station who told him that his motorbike had been stolen two months back. The chief minister directed the SHO to recover his bike and report to him.

The chief minister directed the IGP to ensure the presence of the SHO at the police stations. “I have received complaints that the SHOs do not sit in their offices,” he said, and added that if they would not be present how they would hear complaints of people. “Yes, patrolling is necessary but they must spare time for their office,” he said, giving the IGP clear instructions.

Later, when meeting with the administrator of the Jamia Abdul Razzaq Iskandar, the chief minister said that “it goes to the credit of the PPP to gather people irrespective of social and regions discrimination under its umbrella.”

Syed Murad Ali Shah also visited Yasrab Imambargah at DHA Phase IV, where he met the administration and discussed their issues.

Talking to the media at the Numaish traffic intersection, the chief minister said the arms seized in Nawab Shah and Azizabad might be used in terrorist activities but nothing tangible could be said because an inquiry was in progress.

Expressing his happiness, the chief minister said that the old glories of the city were returning in which there used to be sectarian harmony, recreational places used to be full of visitors and people were leading peaceful lives. “This kind of environment has developed again and the credit goes to the people of Karachi,” he said.

Published in Dawn October 10th, 2016