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KARACHI: The Sindh home minister on Wednesday pledged to take measures for the security of the business community that would include a special permission for issuing arms licences to its members despite a ban.

Speaking to business leaders and city industrialists at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Suhail Anwar Khan Siyal, however, insisted that the data compiled by the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) showed a gradual decline in incidents of crime.

“I agree that law and order is not in an ideal state,” he said. “But there has been a gradual improvement in every segment of this particular subject. You would have witnessed the recent increase in street crime but the fact is, which can be counterchecked through the CPLC data, it has been on the decline if we compare it to the past few years. I endorse concerns of the business community, and to address those I would talk to the chief minister with a proposal that suggests special permission for arms licences to businessmen.”

Minister sees ‘gradual’ decline in street crimes

On his arrival, the home minster was welcomed by KCCI president Muffasar Atta Malik, senior vice president Abdul Basit Haji Abdul Razzaq and vice president Rehan Hanif. City police chief Mushtaq Mahar and other senior officers accompanied the minister.

Safe City project

“We have already launched police reforms,” he said. “In line with the same initiative, we have been recruiting policemen on merit, and for capacity building the law enforcement agency has been equipped with hundreds of new mobile vans and hi-tech weapons. Similarly, work is already under way on the Safe City project that would enhance the city’s video surveillance manifold and make policing more effective.”

Earlier, in his welcome address, the KCCI president expressed serious concerns over the rising street crimes in Karachi. The rise in street crimes, he said, had triggered anxiety in the business and industrialist community, which should be tackled strictly by the Sindh government.

“There is an immense need to equip and train our police officers and make them capable enough to efficiently and promptly deal with different types of crimes. Strategies should also be devised to improve the policing system in Karachi and bring it at par with the policing system in major cities around the world,” he added.

Published in Dawn, December 14th, 2017