Sindh sets up provincial counter-terrorism department

KARACHI: The Sindh government on Saturday formed a provincial counter-terrorism department in compliance with the National Action Plan to combat terrorism.

The Sindh counter-terrorism department will be headquartered in Karachi, and will have regional offices in Hyderabad and Sukkur, said Home Secretary Sindh Abdul Kabir Qazi.

The provincial government also signed an agreement with NADRA to create a central database to track criminals and to detect and prevent crime and terrorism in the province.

The decisions were taken during a meeting of the Sindh Apex Committee’s sub-committee today chaired by the Home Secretary Sindh.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Additional Inspector General (AIG) Ghulam Qadir Thebo said that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) had already been formed for the counter-terrorism department.

“We will be recruiting 1,000 personnel especially for this counter-terrorism force, which will have three wings: intelligence, operations and investigation,” said Additional Inspector General (AIG).

Before the recruitment takes places, the force will be started with existing “elite, qualified commando-trained personnel” from the police force, he said.

Qazi said that special prisons will be set up for terrorists. “These dedicated jails for terrorists will be notified in the coming week,” he said.

During the meeting, it was decided that no mosque, seminary, or any other place of worship will be allowed to be built without permission from the government, for which legislation will be carried out.

It was also decided that Afghan refugee camps will be shifted outside the Karachi.

Qazi told reporters that there were 2.7 million Afghan refugees in Sindh, who will be repatriated to their home country this year.