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Govt told to restore peace in Karachi

KARACHI, March 8: President Asif Ali Zardari directed the provincial government and law-enforcement agencies on Friday to take all-out efforts to restore peace in the city and to take action to protect the life and property of citizens.

Chairing a meeting to take stock of the overall law and order situation in the province, with a specific reference to Karachi following the Abbas Town bomb blast, the president declared that militants, extremists or sectarian elements would not be allowed to subvert the electoral process by creating a law and order situation.

Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, provincial ministers Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, Ayaz Soomro, Agha Siraj Durrani, Murad Ali Shah, Sharjeel Memon, Chief Secretary Raja Muhammad Abbas and heads of law-enforcement agencies were present.

Presidential spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the president condemned the barbaric incident of the Abbas Town carnage and offered Fateha for the departed souls.

He reiterated his determination that polls in the country would be held on time.

While expressing his sympathies with the bereaved families, he directed the authorities concerned to extend full support and assistance to the victims for their early rehabilitation and to provide best medical treatment at government expenses to those wounded in the attack.

President Zardari called upon all political forces and stakeholders to come forward, work hand in hand with the law-enforcement agencies in Karachi and play their active role to restore peace and stability and bring the criminals to book regardless of their affiliation.

He said that everyone had to work together and augment government efforts to restore complete law and order and protect the life and property of the citizens in Karachi.

He said that the government accorded top priority to safeguarding the life and property of the citizens and that they could never be left at the mercy of a handful of vicious elements.

He reiterated that criminals involved in violent activities would be traced and brought to justice.

He said that the federal government would provide all possible help and assistance to the victims of the Abbas Town bomb blast.

Earlier, the governor and the CM briefed the president on the latest situation in Sindh, particularly in Karachi, and various steps to maintain law and order.

Meanwhile, the president met Sindh Assembly deputy speaker Shehla Raza and offered his condolences over the demise of her relatives in the Abbas Town bomb blast.

Development projects

President Zardari inaugurated a road project and a bridge and announced the launch of another project for a bridge and a power plant in Sindh at a ceremony held at the Chief Minister’s House here on Friday.

The inaugurated projects include the Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas dual carriageway, the Jherruk-Mulla Katiar bridge and the newly launched ones include a one-kilometre-long bridge which will directly connect the districts of Thatta and Tando Mohammad Khan and a 100-megawatt power project to be installed at Nooriabad industrial estate.

The inauguration ceremony was attended among others by Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad Khan, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, a number of federal and provincial ministers, several members of parliament and members of the Sindh Assembly, leaders of civil society organisations and a number of high-ranking government officials.

Addressing the function, President Zardari said that the completion of the Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas dual carriageway and the bridge over the Indus River at Jherruk-Mulla Katiar would prove to be a vital link between rural and backward areas of Sindh and the urban market centres. It would greatly help enhance trade and commerce activities in the region, he said.

The president expressed the hope that the completion of the 100-megawatt power generation plant at Nooriabad would not only augment the limited energy resources but also give a new impetus to public-private partnership projects in the province.

He said that these development projects would usher in a new era of progress and prosperity in the province by promoting industrialisation, creating fresh avenues for developmental opportunities, generating thousands of new jobs and attracting local and foreign investors.

The dual carriageway has been completed with the cooperation of South Korea firm, Deokjae, which accomplished the task within stipulated period. All the projects belong to the Sindh government which have been accomplished under the public-private partnership.

President Zardari also performed a draw for lucky farmers and landowners who will get subsidised tractors under the Sindh government’s scheme for farm sector development.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said on the occasion that the Jherruk-Mulla Katiar bridge would have very significant and positive impact on social and economic life of the people of Badin, Thatta and Karachi and would help enhance economic activities in the three districts.—APP