ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan gave a clear indication on Wednesday that the government was ready to up the ante in Karachi with operations against extortionists, target killers and organised crime.
Saying that the Karachi operation was “heading in the right direction”, Chaudhry Nisar said it was time to raise the level, and expand the scope, of the action. “The momentum achieved over the past few months must not be allowed to diminish,” he said.
The remarks came during a meeting with Sindh Rangers Director General Major General Rizwan Akhtar where the two discussed the ongoing law enforcement action in Karachi.
“The operation has the support of all peace-loving people in Karachi and we must live up to their expectations,” the minister said.
He said that improved coordination between Rangers, police and the provincial government would go a long way in helping establish lasting peace in Karachi, adding that the federal government would provide all the resources necessary to enhance the capacity of law enforcement agencies.
The decision to expand the scope of the operation comes days after the Sindh government removed Additional Inspector General Shahid Hayat, a decision that raised many an eyebrow in the federal government.
Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed recently asked the Sindh government to reconsider its decision. “It was opinion of all sections of society that over the last 11 months, Shahid Hayat performed remarkably well and he should remain at the post so that the operation in Karachi could be taken to its logical conclusion,” he remarked.
Reacting to the minister’s remarks, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) described the ongoing operation in Karachi as ‘misdirected’ and called for action against banned outfits “involved in bank robberies and kidnappings” in an attempt to finance terrorist activities. “Extortion continues unabated, but nobody touches the Taliban who control entire areas in Karachi,” MQM leader Tahir Mashhadi told Dawn. He said that as many as 45 MQM activists had been ‘disappeared’ so far and 29 had met their deaths while in custody.