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No clue to Nishter Park, US Consulate bombings

07 June, 2006

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KARACHI: Expressing dissatisfaction over law and order situation in Karachi, the Home Secretary Sindh Brigadier (rtd) Mohammed Mohtaram has said that the police have not so far found any clue to the Nishter Park, and the US Consulate bombings.

"We have found some circumstantial evidences, however they do not lead to any specific clue. To be very frank, we have not so far found any direction to proceed", Mr. Mohtaram said while addressing a press conference at his office on Tuesday.

He said that various federal and provincial law enforcing agencies were investigating into the two high profile cases, and around 50 people had so far been taken into custody on suspicion, however, they still were groping in the dark.

He said the Sindh government had decided to relieve some 1700 extra police guards moving with the provincial ministers, secretaries, town nazims, and other personalities from next week. From next week, he informed, all the ministers would have one police mobile each for security.

These relieved police guards, he said, would be inducted into the regular police from next Monday.

To a question, the home secretary acknowledged that there had been no let up in street crimes in the city. " The major reason behind the growing street crimes is that the police have been diverted to some unnecessary security affairs, that is why we requested the governor Sindh to work to relieve extra police force engaged in security duties", he said adding that the governor had issued orders in this regard.

"It has become a status symbol to move with the police guards irrespective of the fact it is required or not", he observed.

Mr. Mohtaram admitted that the police could not act with total professionalism under the coalition governments like the incumbent one.

The home secretary dubbed the bureaucratic labyrinths as the major reason behind delay in installation of surveillance cameras and other security equipment in the high security zone of the city. The Sindh government had announced to install surveillance cameras at various sensitive places in the metropolis in 2002.

Mr. Mohtaram said that some 120 security cameras were being installed in the city, and the places had also been identified in this connection. The installation process would be completed by the next financial year, he maintained.

Out of 120 cameras, he said, 24 cameras would be installed in the downtown of the city.

He informed that four sniffing dogs were being brought from Germany, however it is premature to say as to how much time would they need to acclimatize the local weather? One dog costs over RS 500,000.

In reply to a question about arrest of Baloch and Shiite youths in connection with terrorist activities in Balochistan and the US Consulate, and Nishter Park bombings respectively, the home secretary said they were not in the custody of any provincial agency. He said some federal agencies were also investigating into the bombings, and the Shiite youths might be in their custody, but, he added he could not say anything for sure in this regard.

Asked whether it was not the responsibility of the state to locate the missing citizens, especially when their families blamed the government agencies for that, Mr Mohtaram said " Their families know exactly where they (detainees) are?".

He expressed the similar views about Dr Safdar Sarki, the General Secretary of Jeay Sindh Quami Mahaz, who have been missing for last various months. " I am surprised about Dr Safdar Sarki that where is he?", he said.

Asked where the detainees’ families should go to seek justice, he said " They have already moved to the court. What can I suggest? They are not in our custody".

To another query, the home secretary termed the Nishter Park bombing a suicide attack. To yet another question, he said the investigation agencies had not so far found any clue to various high profile murders, including Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, PPP MPA, Abdullah Murad and Munawwar Soharwardi.

About Munir Sangi, the slain cameraman of a private television channel, he informed that one of the three main accused in the murder case had been arrested, while raids were underway to nab the remaining accused.

He said the government was considering regulating the political and religious rallies and congregations in order to avoid traffic jams on the main city roads.


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