Military and political leadership to supervise Karachi operation say PM

Source: Published in Politics on Thursday, May 15, 2014

KARACHI: Pakistan's top military and civilian leadership huddled together on Wednesday to review the law and order situation in Karachi at a meeting at the Governor House chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The premier said that the military and political leadership would together supervise the targeted Karachi operation, and that no political pressure would be tolerated.

The meeting was briefed by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, the heads of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies, the Corps Commander Karachi, the Director-General Rangers and the Inspector-General of Sindh Police.

This was the first time that the army chief attended such a high-level meeting with the civilian leadership on the issue of unrest in Karachi.

Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ibad, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, and Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan were also present at the meeting.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari, MQM representatives and ANP leader Shahi Syed also arrived to join the meeting on the invitation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

“Restoration of peace in Karachi is the first priority of government,” said the premier.

Sharif further said that the city is the economic hub of the country and restoring peace here is necessary for the country’s development.

The prime minister called for improved intelligence-sharing when taking action against terrorists and criminal elements.

The prime minister asked why illegal SIMs were not being blocked. On the issue of criminals who have fled the country, he asked why red warrants had not been issued.

Sources said the premier was briefed about the progress in the ongoing targeted operation carried out by police and Rangers.

“They are likely to give a new direction to this operation. We are expecting some key decisions which may bring relief for the citizens,” said one source.

Army Chief General Raheel Sharif said that the Pakistan Army is ready to provide any kind of support to the federal and provincial governments with complete honesty and sincerity.

“We will give our honest opinion and assistance whenever sought from us,” a spokesman for the Prime Minister House quoted the the Army Chief as saying.

The Army chief suggested that postings and transfers of police personnel should be depoliticised and also stressed upon the need to equip the force with modern equipment and resources.

Sources said the meeting reviewed how many criminals were arrested, how many of them were sentenced by courts, and how many no-go areas were eliminated from the city.

The agencies will share their information about members of banned outfit members and high-profile terrorists arrested by the law-enforcing agencies, they added.

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