Legislation for protection of witnesses: End to unchecked sale of SIMs ordered
KARACHI, Nov 1: President Asif Ali Zardari has emphasised that no effort be spared in ensuring smooth law and order and no discrimination be made in dispensing justice to law violators.
Presiding over a special meeting to review law and order situation in Sindh, which was held at the Chief Minister’s House on Thursday, the president said that maintaining law and order and ensuring safety and security of the people was the prime responsibility of the government and all-out efforts must be made in this regard.
The spokesperson for the president, Senator Farhatullah Babar, said the meeting on law and order was attended among others by acting Sindh Governor Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik, provincial ministers, inspector-general of police, Rangers director general, secretary general to the president and senior federal and provincial officials.
He said that the chief minister briefed the president about the overall law and order situation especially in the metropolis.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik gave an overview of the security situation.
The spokesperson said the president taking note of the use of cellphones by militants and criminals asked the government to work out a plan so that no SIM was delivered at retail shops and outlets of cellphone companies and that they were posted to the residential addresses of the applicant as mentioned in the computerised national identity card.
The president directed the interior minister to frame a draft policy in this regard for the cabinet’s approval.
President Zardari also advised the provincial law minister to work on enacting suitable legislation, in consultation with all stakeholders, for the protection of witnesses. He observed that one of the reasons hindering effective prosecution was that witnesses backed out due to fear and insecurity.
He advised the government to study the model of witness protection laws adopted in other countries in the wake of rising militant activities for this purpose.
The spokesperson said that the president also took note of proliferation of arms and weapons in Karachi and observed that only smart card-based arms licences be issued as to ensure that no fictitious licences were used.
He emphasised that maintenance of law and order was a shared responsibility of all political forces and concerted efforts should be made by all of them to ensure peace in the metropolitan city.
While chairing another meeting on the establishment of Pakistan Kidney Institute in Islamabad, according to the spokesperson, the president said that public-private partnership model could be successfully followed to overcome the shortage of medical facilities to catering for the growing health needs of a booming population of the country.
The president said that in view of the rising number of kidney and urological diseases, there was an urgent need to establish a state-of-the-art institute that could cater to the needs of the poor segments of society who could not afford exorbitant diagnostic and treatment costs involved in treatment of such diseases.
In this context, the president commended the role of Dr Adibul Hasan Rizvi and the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) in Karachi being the leading institute in this field in the country.
He remarked that in view of the shortage of such state-of-the- art facilities especially for the people of the upper region of the country, there was an urgent need to establish one in the capital city for catering to the growing demands of an increased population.
Prof Dr Saeed Akhter briefed the president about the feasibility of the establishment Pakistan Kidney & Liver Institute in collaboration with COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT).
According to the proposal presented before the president, the institute is envisioned to be a not-for-profit organisation where half of the beds will be reserved for poor patients. The revenue generated from the paying patients would be utilised in providing relief to the poor patients.
In near future, liver services will also be added to the institute. The proposal stated that PKI would work as an independent not-for-profit organisation under a board of officials in collaboration with COMSATS.
The meeting was informed that land was available for the establishment of PKI.
A spokesperson said that the president also appreciated the role being played by doctors in the private sector in the establishment of this centre of excellence in urology, nephrology liver diseases and transplantation.
Among others, Prof Dr Saeed Akhter, Dr Syed Nayer Mahmud, Dr Manzoorul Haq Qazi and other doctors associated with the project attended the meeting.—APP