Karachi police being modernised, improved, PA told

Published December 5, 2019
The Sindh Assembly was told on Wednesday that the number of police stations in Karachi was not being reduced; rather they were being improved and modernised. — AFP/File
The Sindh Assembly was told on Wednesday that the number of police stations in Karachi was not being reduced; rather they were being improved and modernised. — AFP/File

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly was told on Wednesday that the number of police stations in Karachi was not being reduced; rather they were being improved and modernised.

“We are improving the condition of police stations in Karachi; and are not reducing their number that could affect the law and order situation here,” said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Chawla while speaking on an adjournment motion moved for its admissibility by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Khurrum Sher Zaman.

In his motion, Mr Zaman expressed concern over the “reduction” in the number of police stations in Karachi. He said for no obvious reasons, the number of police stations was being reduced that could aggravate the law and order situation in the city.

He referred to a recent incident in which a female student was kidnapped by a gang of armed motorists in an upmarket neighbourhood of the city.

Minister Chawla opposed the motion saying that the matter it pertained to did not have roots in reality.

‘Most of the city’s 111 police stations are working under-strength, lack resources’

“We are improving our police stations and not reducing their numbers,” he said, adding that the government could not afford to take any measure that could compromise the city’s peace, which had been won with dedicated and sustained efforts by the law enforcement agencies.

The government offered a statement drafted by the Karachi range of the Sindh police which said certain police stations, which were comparatively small as per the crime figures, and were, thus, not sustainable, were proposed to be merged into ‘model police stations’.

“The sizes of [certain] police stations are comparatively small as per the crime figures, and they are not sustainable because of their small sizes.

“Hence, there is a need to merge those police stations that have no proper buildings into police stations that have appropriate buildings. In the first phase, six police stations are proposed to be merged [and form three] model police stations to run on a self-sustaining basis,” said the statement submitted by the Karachi police to the assembly’s secretariat.

According to the proposal, PS Clifton and PS Boat Basin will be merged and will form the Model Police Station Clifton; PS Ferozabad and PS Bahadurabad will form Model PS Ferozabad; and PS Liaquatabad and PS Supermarket will form Model PS Liaquatabad.

The features of those model police stations included: they would follow the beat system. Each beat will have its own vehicle and motorcycle squads, to be manned by adequate manpower. Besides, such police stations will have an eight-hour shift and ample funds to make them self-sufficient.

The house was informed that at present Karachi has 111 police stations and most of them were working under-strength, and were resource-starved.

“105 police stations have been allocated budgets, which are apparently not sufficient to run the police stations in a decent way.”

It was further said: “Thana culture cannot be changed into proper service delivery until the human resource of police stations, especially the SHOs and SIOs, are commensurate with the risk and nature of duties.”

As per the police rules, said the statement submitted by the city police, SHOs were on duty for 24 hours.

“Looking at this nature of duty and length of working, it is necessary to give monetary benefits to the position of SHO and SIO who are in charge of police stations and head of investigation of a police station, respectively.”

Mr Chawla said such a plan would bring qualitative change in the police system and it would be further expanded to other parts of the province.

Speaker Siraj Durrani ruled the adjournment motion out of order.

Calling-attention notices

The energy minister replied on behalf of the government to a calling-attention notice moved by PTI’s Jamal Siddiqui vis-à-vis the worsening law and order situation in the city. He said the government would not defend a number of criminal offences that had lately been reported in the city.

However, he said 12 of the 509 people murdered in the city in the past one year were the victims of targeted killing.

“We’ll not defend these incidents, but similar incidents are reported in all big cities of the world. We try to maintain the peace, which we have earned with sustained efforts, but our hands are tied by the people at the helm in Islamabad,” said the minister.

He said the chief minister in Punjab had changed four inspectors general, but Sindh was not allowed to exercise a similar authority.

“Our funds are being stopped and either we are not given top officers, or officers are not being removed by Islamabad on our demand.”

PTI’s Sanjay Gangwani inquired about the reasons behind the government’s lack of interest in the 20 dialysis machines at the Chandka Medical College Hospital in Larkana, which were not functioning.

Health Minister Azra Pechuho countered his statement saying that 14 of those machines were functioning, and the remaining six were being repaired. She said reverse-osmosis plants were required for 11 new dialysis machines, which would soon be installed.

Bill passed

The house passed the Agricultural Produce Markets (Amendment) Bill, 2019, unanimously. The bill was moved by Agriculture Minister Ismail Rahu.

The bill substituted the word ‘government’ in Section 8 with ‘Minister for agriculture”.

Minister Rahu said the amendment was made in light of a decision by the cabinet by which the agriculture minister was authorised to name members for the constitution of market committees.

Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2019

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