Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday approved in principle the plan to fight terrorism from the single platform of the provincial CID while enlarging its organisation and area of operations. He gave the approval at a meeting during which Chief Secretary Nasir Khosa briefed him on the plan. At present multiple agencies, including mainstream police, its Elite Force, Special Branch and CIA are handling the subject of terrorism whereas the prosecution department is independently pursuing terrorism-related cases in courts. Official sources informed Dawn after the meeting that as per the plan, the Crime Investigation Department would be solely responsible for counter-terrorism measures. Its main functions would include intelligence gathering, operations, investigation and prosecution. For enlarging the agency, force would be taken mainly from the existing police setup. But specialists and technical experts like computer engineers from other sources would also be engaged. The reorganised CID would be headed by an additional IGP and it would also have an executive board, and a command and control authority. The staff would be given vehicles, latest weapons and equipment and training in counter-terrorism to enable them fight terrorists on modern lines. Sources said the chief minister asked the officials concerned to submit final recommendations in four days so that the single agency could be assigned the sole job of countering terrorism and pursuing such cases in courts to ensure punishment to the terrorists. MPA Col Shuja Khanzada (retired), IGP Tariq Saleem, Home Secretary Nadeem Hasan Asif, Additional IGs of CID and Special Branch and senior officers concerned attended the meeting. Meanwhile, according to an official handout, the chief minister said under the present circumstances maintaining law and order situation was the top priority of the Punjab government and it was utilising all resources for the purpose. He said neither progress could be made nor foreign investment attracted without eliminating terrorism and extremism from the country. The entire nation was united against terrorism and the country would be made a haven of peace by rooting out terrorism and extremism. He said it had been decided to reorganise CID to effectively deal with terrorism and extremism and the department would be provided with all necessary facilities, besides appointing highly trained and professional officials. The chief minister said the briefing by the chief secretary was comprehensive. In his briefing the chief secretary also mentioned the incidents of terrorism in the province and their causes. The participants gave suggestions about the reorganisation of CID as well as dealing with terrorism.
By: Dawn News