Karachi operation will intensify in coming days

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali yesterday said that Rangers-led operation in Karachi against criminals and terrorists would be intensified in the coming days. “Karachi operation has been expedited over the last few weeks and after the target killing of Rangers personnel there, flushing in some areas has been started on fast track. The operation would not be slowed down rather it would be accelerated in days ahead,” the minister said while responding to questions of journalists during his visit of a hospital in Wah Cantt.The remarks of the minister came following the other day’ protest rally of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in Karachi which was held against the raids of Rangers in different parts of the city. Nisar informed reporters that Karachi operation had been started on the demand of the MQM and the interior ministry was overseeing it since August 29, 2013 when he as the minister had formally announced it. “The ministry owns this operation and it would continue. The situation at that time demanded the operation and it was started in consultations with all the stakeholders,” he said.Responding a question about the allegation of PPP and MQM that why such operation was not started in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the minister said: “The operation is conducted when some disease is there.” He said that the government was ready to address the reservations of PPP and MQM and any other political party if they had any. PPP and MQM, the two major political parties in Sindh have been showing their reservations on the Rangers operations for the last many months. Even the Grievances Redressal Committee formed by the federal government on the demand of MQM has been dysfunctional since its inception.Nisar said that the security situation has improved in Karachi and other parts of the country. “There is hell of difference between the Karachi of 2013 and that of the present day” and so is the case of Quetta as well as other parts of Balochistan, he remarked. He said that 90 percent of Punjabis living in Balochistan had resettled there once again due to improved security situation. They earlier had migrated from the province due to security threats and they should acknowledge that the security situation had improved, he added.About the security of local bodies election being conducted in phases, the interior minister said his ministry had provided security on sensitive polling stations throughout the country in consultation with the Election Commission of Pakistan and provincial governments. This security was provided in the form of Frontier Corp (FC), Rangers and army personnel, he said and added that this would continue till the end of the last phase of elections. About the question of terrorist attacks on media persons and a DSNG van in Karachi, he said that his ministry would form a procedure for the security of journalists in consultation with the provinces. “It is our first duty not only to protect the citizens but also journalists as well,” he said.Nisar said it was on the priority list of terrorists to target journalists as “you are on the frontline”. He again claimed that the situation was much better than in the past. “Don’t say that glass is half empty but you can say that glass is half full,” he advised the media. There was a time when journalists were targeted and killed without break in Karachi. “We have arrested the culprits (in many cases).” The minister also said that the law would take its course in connection with arrest of former PPP federal minister Dr Asim Hussain in corruption and terrorism cases. “I have the investigation report of Rangers and some excerpts of the probe being conducted by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB),” he said. Nisar’s statement comes three days after Karachi police registered a case against Dr Asim, a close aide of former president and PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, under Anti-Terrorism Act of 1999. The Interior Ministry has also put his name on the Exit Control List (ECL).


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