All madrassas in Sindh will be registered as educational institutes, decided a meeting of the provincial apex committee, which also took up discussion on smart city and CPEC projects, security provisions for foreign staffers, the status of Mai Bakhtawar Airport near Islamkot, and safety measures in the province in light of terrorist incidents and street crime. The meeting also reviewed past decisions of the committee and work completed since its last meeting around 18 months ago. Chairing the meeting, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah directed that legislation pertaining to the safe city authority in Karachi be completed, and for Mai Bakhtawar Airport, near Islamkot, to be made operational.The meeting was briefed on the implementation thus far of the 16 points of the National Actional Plan by Sindh IGP Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar. Besides, the IGP along with the transport secretary briefed the meeting on the issue of trackers on motorcycles. Mahar informed the meeting that 16 police stations have been established along the Sindh-Balochistan and Sindh-Punjab borders with the deployment of 1,072 police personnel, including at the checkposts.These police stations and checkposts have been given 22 cars and 11 motorcycles for their operations, said the IGP. Around 202 suspects were arrested at the border in the past three months as well as 357 persons with prior criminal records, he added. The meeting was apprised that around 344 prime locations have been identified in Sindh for which security arrangements have been made. The apex committee decided on the installment of CCTV cameras at entry and exit points of cities in the province to monitor the movement of those travelling across the province. The meeting was told that around 819 LEA personnel is deployed at roughly 560 shrines and mausoleums in Sindh. Safety provisions for shrines and mausoleums were also discussed, with SOPs finalised for both LEAs and private security teams.Besides, the apex committee was briefed on developement schemes ongoing in the province. It was said that around 347 such schemes are currently ongoing in Sindh at the cost of Rs159,169.16 million – with expenditures worth Rs50,612.43 carried out thus far. Around Rs2,074.4 million have been set aside for such schemes in the current fiscal year, it was apprised. The CM also took note of roads and thoroughfares in the province which were affected by recent monsoon rains and directed that repair and construction work for the same be completed.Meanwhile, the provincial law secretary informed that legislation pertaining to street crime is ongoing in consultation with the high court. The CM noted that ensuring implementation of the new laws and regulations was as necessary as the legislation itself. Till the new legislation is finalised, street crime should be dealt with using existing laws, he said.Cases against street crime should be strengthened such that the apprehended suspect is not able to wriggle their way out, opined the CM. It was decided at an earlier meeting that the high court be requested to appoint a separate judge to hear cases pertaining to street crime, he recalled.During the briefing on Madrassah’s in Sindh, the meeting was informed that there are around 8,195 Madrassahs and Imam Bargahs in the province. The meeting decided that the education ministry would now handle the registration of Madrassahs in the province as they would qualify as educational institutes henceforth.Previously, the registration of Madrassahs used to be handled by the auqaf and industries departments under various laws.The meeting was informed that work on KSC projects has been initiated and surveys by the law enforcement agencies and NRTC have been completed. A demonstration was held at the CPO which included the facial identification system, smart traffic management system, data analysis, e-patrolling as well as a ‘model’ or ‘smart’ police station. Besides, Sindh police automation is also in process, it was said.The meeting discussed that work remains pending with regards to the safe city authority, a feasibility study for 10,000 cameras and funding for the project, FRID number plates – which have been approved by the cabinet – and weapons registrations.Shah directed that legislation pertaining to the authority be completed and said that efforts are being made to arrange funds for the project.The meeting discussed projects in Sindh under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as well. It was informed that there are currently 12 CPEC projects ongoing in Sindh with around 2,500 Chinese staff working in the province. Maximum security is being provided to the foreign staff and officials, with around 4,500 LEAs personnel deployed for their security, the meeting was told.Besides, there are 136 non-CPEC projects ongoing in the province as well which employ roughly 488 foreign staffers, it was said. Directives were also issued for SOPs to be laid out for security measures for these projects.The meeting also decided to make the Mai Bakhtawar Airport near Islamkot, Tharparkar district, be made operational. In this regard, civil aviation officials were directed to prepare and sign an MOU.Provincial minister Nasir Hussain Shah, Adviser to CM Murtaza Wahab, Karachi Core Commander Lieutenant General Humayun Aziz, Sindh Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, Rangers director-general, and other officials were present at the meeting.