Pakistan

KARACHI: The Inspector-General Police Sindh said on Friday that only 20 percent of the police cameras installed in Karachi were in working condition and no funds had been spent on their maintenance since 2010.

He said this to reporters after a meeting with the provincial home minister to discuss progress on two high-profile cases – the kidnapping of the Sindh High Court chief justice’s son and the murder of renowned qawwal Ajmad Sabri in the city.

“There is still no major development in these cases that I can share with the media so far and our units are still investigating,” IGP AD Khowaja said accompanied by Home Minister Sohail Anwar Sial.

The IGP said there were around 2,400 cameras installed throughout Karachi, of which 967 belonged to police, 1,400 to the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation and around 100 to the traffic management system.

“Around 90 percent of the KMC cameras are working but 80 percent of our cameras are not functioning,” he noted.

He added that most other cameras installed in the city did not capture high-quality footage through which potential suspects could be identified by their faces. “We have recently asked the provincial government for funds to upgrade and repair these cameras.”

Earlier, the home minister chaired a meeting attended by the IGP, Additional IGP Karachi Mushtaq Maher, Additional IGP CTD Dr Sanaullah Abbasi, and other senior officers. The minister announced a reward of Rs. 5 million for citizens sharing information that could lead to the arrest of Sabri’s murderers.

Maher briefed the meeting about the ongoing operation against criminals in Karachi.

He also directed police to take effective measures against fake number plates, displaying weapons, aerial firing and tinted glasses of vehicles.

The provincial law adviser said robberies in Karachi must be brought in check immediately. The IGP ordered police officials to take immediate action against criminals and increase patrolling across the city. He also ordered security measures for the city’s mosques, imambargahs, shopping centres, and other sensitive places.

At the press briefing, the home minister said Owais Ali Shah was kidnapped in Clifton at about 2:30 pm and the incident was reported at around 9 pm, after the passage of six hours.

He added that the kidnappers took advantage of this delay during which police was unaware of the incident. However, he added, there were some important leads in the case which could not be shared with the media yet. Sial said the Sindh police did not have GSM locators and other technical support. He also pointed out difficulties the police faced in accessing mobile usage data, which had hindered a number of investigations.

He said in the Amjad Sabri case, they had managed to acquire some authentic leads and forming a joint interrogation team comprising officers of the ISI, MI, IB, Rangers, Special Branch and other units of Karachi police to probe into the case.