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‘Govt trying to mitigate pandemic affects’

KARACHI:

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that his government is framing an effective policy to mitigate the negative impact of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and to take advantage of the opportunities emerging in the post- pandemic world.
“Post-Covid international scenario has lowered risk outlook for Pakistan and CPEC opportunities have made Sindh a better destination promising healthy returns on investment, ease of doing business and high impact sustainable business growth,” he said.
The CM was addressing participants of National Defence University (NDU) course on National Security & War Course-2022 led by Major General Rahat Naseem Ahmed Khan here at CM House. The participants include Pakistan armed forces, 23 civil servants and a large number of senior military officers from 15 different countries.
Talking about terrorism, the CM said that the overall law and order situation in the province was satisfactory, however, the fast changing regional security environment required the law enforcement agencies operating in the Sindh to be extra vigilant to ensure peace and stability. He added that a 20 Points National Action Plan (NAP) for countering terrorism and extremism was chalked out in All Parties Conference in 2014.
Murad said that his government was actively implementing NAP points under the Provincial Apex Committee framework. “The Government of Sindh has conducted 26th meetings of Apex Committee with tangible outcomes such as Karachi Operation taken to logical end and now, Karachi is by and large a peaceful city,” he said and added Karachi has hosted many international and domestic cricket tournaments including the PSL.
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Provincial security
Regarding narcotics and arms proliferation, the CM said that Karachi was a lucrative place for illicit drug market being a mega city as well as an international conduit. “Narcotics have indirectly been involved in terror financing,” he said and added that the better coordination was required among intelligence, military, LEAs and Provincial governments in order to bring this menace to an end.
Talking about illegal immigrants, the CM said that Karachi attracted illegal immigrants especially from Afghanistan, Burma, Bangladesh and other countries. “Pakistan is not a signatory to UN Convention on Refugees yet it is home to more than 1.44 million Afghan Refugees registered with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR),” he said and added statistics shared by Commissioner for Afghan Refugees in Sindh show that 67,028 Afghans have Proof of Registration, 71,429 Afghan citizens are alien card holders, and 400,000 are yet to be registered.
Talking about Sindh government’s Interventions, Shah said that Karachi Operation was in 2013. Pakistan Rangers were deployed and CTD was established.
The CM said that the budget of Sindh police was increased from Rs51.25 billion in 2013 to Rs106.92 billion in 2021. “We have established a Special Security Unit, purchased arms and ammunition and vehicles in large numbers,” he said.
He said that new prison laws were enacted transforming prisons into correctional facilities. “All this has produced astounding results of improved security in the province, especially Karachi,” he said.
Regional security
Shah said that the threat faced by Pakistan was multiple and complex, as Pakistan was subject to 5th generation hybrid warfare which according to him requires information superiority through technological means; and propagating the positive image of Pakistan through national and international media .
The CM said that the emergence of Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) also known as Deash in Afghanistan was a threat to regional security. “The uprising in Occupied Kashmir, and the fierce resistance to it by Indian government including India’s acrimony towards Pakistan keeps us alert all the time,” he said and added Pakistan has been a victim of cyber-attacks for number of times in the past and termed it a relatively a new threat which was evolving not only for states but also for private sector.
The chief minister also briefed the participants on development endeavors of his government, including Thar coal mining and power generation achievement.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2021.

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