Sindh government to devise plan to block illegal SIMs
KARACHI: The Sindh government has decided to devise a strategy to curb the use of illegal SIMs, after having failed to receive an adequate response from the federal government.
The strategy was discussed at a law and order meeting at the CM House on Wednesday. The meeting, chaired by chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, suggested ways to tackle cellular service providers over their failure to block illegal SIMs.
Briefing the media after the meeting, the provincial information minister, Sharjeel Inam Memon said, “The provincial government will devise a mechanism and pursue the officials of mobile phone companies to block the SIMs.”
Referring to the briefing given by the officials of law enforcement agencies, Memon revealed that most of the serious crimes, including kidnapping for ransom, target killings and extortion, were being committed with the help of illegal SIMs. “The federal interior minister and officials of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority had assured us that the illegal SIMs would be blocked but no concrete results have come forth yet,” the minister lamented.
Out on parole
The information minister related that the meeting also discussed the matter regarding the 45 notorious criminals released on parole during the tenure of former chief minister Dr Ghulam Arbab Rahim.He held Rahim responsible for the criminals’ escape. “Government is considering re-opening the cases of these criminals.
Some of them are living aboard and a few of them are on the run in the country.” The minister, however, avoided responding when asked whether any action would be taken against Dr Rahim. He did add though that the government had decided to approach the Interpol for help in arresting and bringing the criminals back from foreign countries.
Memon, while expressing ‘dismay’ over the performance of Anti Terrorism Courts (ATCs), said that the courts had failed to conduct speedily trials of criminals and not complied with the Pakistan Protection Ordinance 2013.
“Federal government has passed the law under which the ATCs must decide the fate of criminals involved in serious crimes within a week. This, however, is not being done,” he remarked.
The minister added that provincial government had decided to hire competent lawyers to pursue high profile cases.He was of the belief that suspects were being released because they hired better lawyers while the public prosecutors, representing the government did not have enough experience in dealing with the cases.
Giving details about the 497 proclaimed offenders, the minister said that the provincial government would soon announce head money on the proclaimed offenders and their photos would also be made public. He added that notorious criminals would be shifted to other district jails. “We are compiling a record of the most wanted criminals in Karachi’s jails who would be shifted to facilities in other districts,” he said.