LAHORE: In a marathon meeting here on Monday the counter terrorism departments of Punjab and Balochistan agreed to share ‘secret data and intelligence’ of various banned militant organisations and networks operating in Punjab.
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, accompanied by the province’s Inspector General of Police Rai Tahir, visited the Punjab CTD headquarters here on Monday and held a meeting with its head, DIG Jawwad Qamar and other senior police officers.
During the meeting, both sides also agreed to impart training to the officers of the Balochistan CTD to make the province a safer place for its people as the department had busted various militant networks in Punjab where militancy was rampant some years back.
An official privy to the development told Dawn, CTD DIG Jawwad Qamar shared with the visiting delegation the ‘success story’ of the department in Punjab, particularly under Mr Rai.
He told Mr Kamal that Punjab had almost been cleared of local terrorist outfit.
“There has been no incident of sectarian terrorism in Punjab in the last four years,” he said, adding that in the year 2020 no suicide bombing was reported and it was a landmark after 13 years of militancy wave in Pakistan, particularly in Punjab.
“Punjab has reported a 14 times decrease in terrorism incidents in 2020 as compared to the figures of 2014”, Mr Jawaad told the meeting.
He said the Punjab CTD had so far arrested 2,000 hardcore militants in the last five years and of them 65 percent had been convicted by the anti-terrorism courts (ATCs).
He also briefed the Balochistan CM that the hate speech had been a prime source of sectarian violence and a big challenge for the Punjab CTD.
“We curbed hate speech by blocking 4,000 social media sites and pages through the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority”, Mr Qamar told the meeting.
He also briefed the Balochistan chief minister about the structure and functions of Punjab CTD.
The official said the CM appreciated achievements in controlling militancy and sectarianism in Punjab and resolved to strengthen the CTD in Balochistan on the same lines.
Meanwhile, the CM and Balochistan IGP also visited the mausoleum of national poet Allama Iqbal where Mr Kamal eulogised his poetry and vision.
“Iqbal’s vision can now lead us towards progress and prosperity and hard work and dedication is the need of hour to fulfill the great poet’s dream”, he said.
The gusts also visited the Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) headquarters at Qurban Lines where Managing Director Rao Sardar Ali Khan and Chief Operating Officer Muhammad Kamran Khan briefed them about the various sections of the authority. The Quetta Safe City project team was also accompanying them.
The PSCA chief operating officer briefed them about the authority’s media centre, PUCAR 15, emergency 15 centre and also regarding provision of electronic data evidence and footage to various law enforcement agencies and police’s investigation wing.
Mr Kamal appreciated the technologies and practices in place, especially the Intelligent Traffic Management System and electronic challans.
“We are keen to sign an MoU with the PSCA for technical assistance to launch the same project in Quetta”, he said.
On the occasion, Rao Sardar pledged all possible support by the PSCA for Quetta safe city project.
IGP Rai Tahir also briefed to the Balochistan chief minister on the progress on Quetta Safe City project, saying it would be operational by the end of year.
Jam Kamal later recorded his remarks in the guest book about his visit to the PSCA which concluded with the presentation of souvenir shields to the Balochistan chief minister.
Published in Dawn, February 9th, 2021