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Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar along with Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah addressing a press conference at Governor House, Karachi.
Interior minister Chaudhry Nisar along with Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah addressing a press conference at Governor House, Karachi.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. — Photo by APP
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. — Photo by APP

KARACHI: The federal cabinet empowered Rangers on Wednesday to lead a targeted operation in the next "one to two days" with the support of police against criminals already identified by federal military and civilian agencies in hundreds of lists for their alleged involvement in targeted killings, kidnappings for ransom, extortion and terrorism in Karachi.

This is one of a few important decisions taken at a special session of the federal cabinet after extensive consultation for two days by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with all stakeholders, including Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, leaders of different political parties, representatives of business community and media persons at the Governor’s House.

After a briefing by directors general of ISI, IB, Rangers and IG Police to the prime minister on the law and order situation in Karachi, followed by the cabinet meeting, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali told newsmen that some of the cabinet decisions were not being made public because of their sensitivity, but they would be reflected through their implementation.

Explaining the decision to equip Rangers with the power of prosecution and investigation, the minister said Rangers had complained that people arrested for alleged involvement in crimes were freed after some time.

A committee led by the provincial chief minister would “manage, administer and control” the operation, he said, however he emphasised on calling it a targeted action or "exercise" rather than an operation.

Earlier during the cabinet session, the prime minister had also stressed on calling it a “concerted campaign” against lawlessness and terrorism in the city rather than an operation.

Sharif expressed concern at the deteriorating law and order situation, although he ruled out a possibility of deploying military troops in the metropolis.

The Sindh police came under intense criticism during the session for the ‘political recruitments’ in its ranks. The prime minister said that the common man had lost faith in the police force.

Announcing the details of the plan, Nisar told reporters that targeted action would be taken against criminals involved in the “four heinous crimes of target-killing, kidnapping, extortion and terrorism”. Rangers would lead the operation while police and the federal and provincial intelligence agencies would support them, he said.

He said the prime minister had held detailed meetings with top government officials and heads of law enforcement authorities, and it was decided at the cabinet meeting that the Rangers force would be given special prosecution powers to aid them in acting against miscreants.

A second committee would be formed comprising federal minister Zahid Hamid, Farogh Naseem of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, and the prosecutor general to look at the legal aspect. Nisar said the committee would propose legal recommendations for the law of evidence and other provisions to give grant investigation and prosecution powers to the paramilitary force in Karachi. “We have spoken to Rangers officials and have been informed of deficiencies in the system. Measures would soon be taken to fill these gaps,” he said.

Nisar said at least one police station in every district of the city would be assigned as a focal police station where Rangers would be made part of investigations into the ‘four heinous crimes.

A smaller operational committee, headed by DG Rangers Sindh Maj-Gen Rizwan Akhtar and comprising the Inspector General of Sindh Police and representatives of intelligence agencies, would meet almost daily to monitor the operational activities. The interior minister said the first meeting of the committee would be called as soon as he returns to Islamabad.

The interior minister said orders had been issued to revamp the provincial police force which has come under intense criticism for poor performance. “We have ordered and authorised the IGP to revamp the police… and not only identify weaknesses but also elements in its ranks which are in cahoots with terrorists and criminals. These individuals should not only be terminated from duty but also arrested,” he said.

An “outer monitoring committee” comprising of members of the civil society and the media will also be formed to monitor the overall operation. “Members of this committee will be honest members of the civil society and notable representatives of the media who will identify if any wrongful arrests are made,” said Nisar.

“We are going through a unique experience here by getting united despite having different political affiliations. We are proceeding with commonality of interest,” the interior minister said while referring to the consensus developed among all stakeholders.

He recalled that the prime minister had reiterated on Tuesday that “we are here only to find a way out of Karachi violence”.

“The prime minister has made it clear that politicising the Karachi issue is a sin to him.”

Chaudhry Nisar clarified that the centre had put the provincial government in the driver’s seat for improving law and order in Karachi because it had the mandate of people. “We respect the mandate of PPP, MQM and all other parties represented here.”

If any of the stakeholders in Sindh was sidelined, there would be political infighting which would ultimately distract the government from its path, he said.

He said most of the crimes were being committed because of unregistered Sims as cellular phone companies were not following the rules while selling them.

Chaudhry Nisar said the IGP would identify a police station under whose jurisdiction heinous crimes were being committed before launching the action by Rangers.

UNITED WE STAND: He said the action being initiated now would be a new experience because operations were launched in the past when one party ruled at the centre and another in the province. It would be a message that “we are united on national issues”.

In reply to a question, the minister said Rangers had been deployed in Sindh since 1996 on the request of the provincial government. Not only Rangers but other federal agencies also would be working under the command of the Sindh chief minister.

Answering another question, Chaudhry Nisar said the government wanted to evolve a system brick by brick instead of taking cosmetic measures to hoodwink the masses.

Karachi was not only the capital of Sindh but also the most important city of Pakistan and all decisions were taken by the cabinet in light of the decisions of the Supreme Court, he observed.

Chaudhry Nisar said the government might seek guidance from the apex court about cabinet decisions, including about militant wings of certain political parties, which were not being made public.

Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah thanked the prime minister and his cabinet for extending cooperation to the provincial government to improve the law and order situation in Karachi. The prime minister held meetings with different sections of people with the same spirit, he added.

He said all parties which met the premier had agreed that there was no need for the army’s deployment in the city. “All of us agreed that let Rangers and police work effectively and deliver,” he added.

Maintaining that the intervention by the federal government had not hurt provincial autonomy, the chief minister said all the measures decided by the federal cabinet were “result-oriented” and apolitical in nature. “All political parties, as well as the prime minister, have a one-point agenda – law and order.”

Governor Ishratul Ibad asked the media to help law enforcement agencies in restoring law and order in the city because all measures were being taken without political considerations.

He said the PPP, MQM, PML-N had their own priorities, but as far as Karachi was concerned all parties had a one-point agenda: restoration of peace and tranquility in the city and rest of the province.

—With reporting by Asif Mahmood

Comments (87) Closed

Yasmin Elahi Sep 04, 2013 01:56pm

We Karachiites are sick and tired of such meetings! Our past experiences have taught us that nothing worthwhile has come out of them. We do not want hollow words but action on a war footing!

Ahmed Sep 04, 2013 02:37pm

PPP and MQM are part of problem. Unless people of Sindh realize that they are voting their worst enemies to power over and over again, the problem cannot be solved. Nawaz Sharif's efforts are not going to result in big change as he himself is a useless person and these are only time wasting tactics from his side. No one is interested in peace in Karachi.

Mr.T Sep 04, 2013 03:10pm

What if this doesn't work too, or this is just a media hype, time gain, another political statement..

Ubaid Ul Attar Sep 04, 2013 03:27pm

Solid steps must be taken for the improvements of Karachi's law and order situation and extortion activities should strictly be noticed. The people invoked in criminal cases have to be sentenced according to their crimes.

Pakistani Sep 04, 2013 03:35pm

Once in a jungle there the the jungle king got serious injuries, everyone in the jungle was worried about the king. A monkey was considered to be the most intellectual and influential so he was asked to do something for the jungle king. The monkey jumped here and there, shouted very loudly and remained restless for about an hour. Meanwhile the jungle king died, everyone started shouting on the monkey and blamed him for death of the jungle king. The monkey replied 'I did the most I could do'.

The current situation of Karachi and the steps being taken up is actually the practical implementation of this story.

zaheer Sep 04, 2013 03:58pm

There should be a moratorium on bails for a period of two years. Anybody arrested on charges related to law and order situation in karachi , should not be granted bail for two years from the time of arrest. PM should make relevant laws for this.

Ishrat salim Sep 04, 2013 04:34pm

Why no mention of IB ? Although it is under the civilian authority ? Why dragging and involving ISI again ? No wonder this important organization has become so ineffective, that today it is unable to tackle external threats.......make IB more effective as it is their responsibility for internal intel......and not ISI.

khanm Sep 04, 2013 05:02pm

Since we have inducted rangers in Sind the crimes in Karachi have gone up many folds

Nizamuddin Aali Sep 04, 2013 05:56pm

Why the P.M wants to hire the same people who are partly responsible for the mess.

kam Sep 04, 2013 06:10pm

Simple solution is to de-politicise Police. Simple. Period

khanm Sep 04, 2013 06:17pm

Karachi is all yours Rangers.. add more prime land as your personel property. you have a free hand no question asked.

saman Sep 04, 2013 06:41pm

i would like to request Hon able PM to immediately direct the S.P police larkana to remove all the corrupt S.H.O of larkana city who were torching the innocent persons at the behest of landlord MNA /MPA

sima Sep 04, 2013 06:55pm

The PM was winged, in the cabinet meeting, by CM and Governor Sind and both of them are believed to be the patronizers/protectors of criminal groups in Karachi. I fear that the action would be half hearted and will be called off half way, i am sure, under duress of political parties and Rangers will earn the bad name for itself and public hatred.

shafeeq Sep 04, 2013 07:09pm

this is not possible.....pp will not want do it.....and mqm also

Muscle Sep 04, 2013 07:14pm

Yeah, keep advertising about the operation so all the terrorists go into hiding! 1 2 3, ready or not here we come!

Dr. Zaheer Malik Sep 04, 2013 07:22pm

.. so basically you are saying "listen up" all you terrorists in 1 or 2 days we will come looking for you go hide? how stupid can one be why give them any warning? Like everything else in Pakistan ... utterly useless!

ali ahmed Sep 04, 2013 07:29pm

this the signal to the terrorists and criminals..which was moved from all over leave the city in 2 days

Sonal Sep 04, 2013 07:32pm

Wow! Very bold.

Hansain Sep 04, 2013 07:48pm

nice initiative .. but why tell everyone when the operation is going to start, so that they can either leave the city or prepare themselves? it should be in stealth mode

HM Sep 04, 2013 07:50pm

Given enough time to terrorist to leave Karachi.

Omer Sep 04, 2013 07:51pm

Is the govt. also going to arrange bus/train/plane tickets for the criminals to get out of the city/country? Why in the world is the information minster announcing everything???

Gerry D'Cunha Sep 04, 2013 07:59pm

this operation will be an eye-wash and innocent people will be taken to task, as the hard core criminals have fled karachi as the know the operation to take place within a couple of days. this is not intelligence action where you alert the crominals that we are coming to attack you - no sense.

Billoo Sep 04, 2013 08:04pm

Announcing an operation like this days in advance gives the criminals all the time to make preparations and hide in the rat holes! great job.

Noor Sep 04, 2013 08:05pm

Nothing will happen ."Hath Kangan Ko Arsee Kya". We will see

asim Sep 04, 2013 08:07pm

yeah very SMART announce the timelines before hand so all can go hiding.... then what's the need of operation BS....

Syed Sep 04, 2013 08:08pm

Want to see action not words.

AJ Sep 04, 2013 08:17pm

Not heard of any 'effective' clean up operation which is announced publicly. The drums have been sounding for the last one month by the government, a silver lining for the elements to prepare, brace and blend in the local population before such a operation takes place. Thank you for the forewarning. That's the way to go!

Saad(DXB) Sep 04, 2013 08:19pm

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan announced Wednesday that the paramilitary Rangers force would start a targeted operation against criminal gangs and terrorists in Karachi in the next

Farhan Sep 04, 2013 08:28pm

Fantastic news for all the extortionist, mischief creators, terrorists etc. They have two days to vacate the city or go underground. Never seen such childish approach to such a grave situation. Well done PML-N. you are really with the people of Karachi

Tauseef Sep 04, 2013 08:27pm

I wonder why they make such information public before the operation starts? is it to let culprits hide and run-away? This current government is behaving exactly same as the previous one.

Hasan Sep 04, 2013 08:30pm

Why they have to announce the day and time for operation.So all the criminal elements can hide or run out of country and only small fishes left and once it is over they will come back. What a sense less planning.

gladiator Sep 04, 2013 08:29pm

2 days notice to all the terrorist to hide otherwise they will catch you... Terrorist can do whatever they want to after operation is completed.:)

Kashif Sep 04, 2013 08:30pm

I wonder what's the difference between now and before under Rehman Malik. Seems like a political point scoring to me. Day1; MQM asking Army Action Day 2: Ch. Nisar Press Conference Day 3: Ch. Nisar speech in Parliament Day 4: Requesting APC Day 5 & 6: APC in Karachi Day 7: Ch. Nisar, will do operation in 2 days

WTH? just do the operation, are you asking all criminals to go on holidays when we do operation ???

Concerned Individual Sep 04, 2013 08:37pm

@Yasmin Elahi: Please let them plan and deliver, results cannot be achieved overnight as this will take some serious time and effort. I believe everyone should wait and watch the performance and then criticize.

Concerned Sep 04, 2013 08:44pm

Someone independent needs to check police. I phone system should be set where people can call and lodge their complaints without identifying themselves

chakar Sep 04, 2013 08:45pm

aap log pheley se mujrimo ko itla de rey hain k hum karachi mai operation karne waley hain kuch mujrim bhag gy aur kuch bhag ne waley hain,karachi mai sahi niyat baghir sisat se operation hona chahiy takey koi mujrim pher ser nahi uta sakey

Syed Sep 04, 2013 08:56pm

After months of useless discussions, still announcing and waiting for two more days. Is it to provide sufficient time for all criminals to hide or leave the city, as it happened before.

Muhammad Ahmed Mufti Sep 04, 2013 08:56pm

Ready or not!! here we come in two days!! With an advance notice, the interior minister has already compromised the mission. Aside from foolish criminals, the smart ones are alreay on move or perhaps will be making most of it for next two days before changing their coats.

Shahid Ali Sep 04, 2013 09:05pm

The same Chief Minister ruled Sind for 5 years during last term of PPP Government and failed in governing and responsible for worsening law and order situation due to supporting criminal elements for political reasons has been made Captain of Command. Is there any sense in it?

Patriotic Sep 04, 2013 09:10pm

@khanm: I fully agree... see block A north Nazimabad. Have food area, commercial school.. blocking roads for their own security. .

No sense of security for common people... lts all rubbish. .

Mustafa Sep 04, 2013 09:09pm

'The interior minister also pointed out the existence of 4 million unregistered mobile...' Please don't point out but resolve the issues. It is Nisar's responsibility as an interior minister.

Patriotic Sep 04, 2013 09:16pm

@Sonal: Its all rubbish... just asking killers + robbers .. partners of politicians to leave immediately..

Why not operation without notice...

All over world, action comes without announcements. .

If someone will die in their family then they will realize what one feel after death of their dears.....

Patriotic Sep 04, 2013 09:18pm

@Sonal: Its all rubbish... just asking killers + robbers .. partners of politicians to leave immediately..

Why not operation without notice...

All over world, action comes without announcements. .

If someone will die in their family then they will realize what one feel after death of their dears.....

Patriotic Sep 04, 2013 09:19pm

@Sonal: Its all rubbish... just asking killers + robbers .. partners of politicians to leave immediately..

Why not operation without notice...

All over world, action comes without announcements. .

If someone will die in their family then they will realize what one feel after death of their dears.....

sid Sep 04, 2013 09:26pm

Thanks for giving a heads up to terrorist so they can find shelter elsewhere while govt forces go after the innocents.

Molana Diesel Sep 04, 2013 10:08pm

There is hardly any need of launching any major operation. The best solution is "Demilitarize the political parties".

AbbasToronto Sep 04, 2013 10:11pm

Great move. Under the guise of fighting terrorism, eliminate your political opponents.

Khan Sep 04, 2013 10:50pm

Wow so all killers has 2 days to run away from karachi and return back when the operation is over :(

Chilli Sep 04, 2013 10:58pm

Thank you for giving schedule to criminals and ample time to go out of Karachi or hide in safe areas of the city. Your approach is remarkable. By the way, who selected you as interior minister??

Ravian Sep 04, 2013 11:13pm

Wish all the best to Karachiites and Pakistan.

Azim Sep 04, 2013 11:27pm

Very smart - now this will make sure all terrorist start waiting for the door bell to be picked could have been better if govt had put an advertisement informing all terrorist to stay home and be prepared to be picked up along with all their weapons.........very intelligent, very smart.....

Faisal Sep 05, 2013 12:00am

Good Mr. Minister! Inform the terrorists that you will be conducting operation in next two days so that all of them flee to Waziristan.

Ali Naqvi Sep 05, 2013 12:34am

Oh Dear! When are they going to understand this unrestness did not appear just yesterday, its been going on for many years. An "Operation" is not even close to a solution. I remember Karachi of my childhood was much safer place, when if a hooligan took out a knife on some one it was the news of the town, now young teenagers have guns. Dear politicians apart from having a "trained and sincere" police force, Karachi needs youth programs, sports, educational, entertainment and competitions. Get them busy with quality education and sports, so they dont have time for these useless activities. I know all this involves a lot of money, which either comes goes into politicians pockets or gets spent on such programs, where would it get spent? Your guess is as good as mine.

Salman Rizvi Sep 05, 2013 12:49am

"He said cellular companies would be forced to follow clear cut guidelines to ensure the sale of SIMs without proper registration." I assume the editor meant WITH PROPER REGISTRATION!

Imtiaz Faruqui Sep 05, 2013 01:35am

If the whole Pakistan know that the operation is starting in 2-days dont you think the gangsters,kidnappers ,thieves and other bad guys will wait for the Rangers to come and get them, their friends in the security agencies would have informed them already to disappear or go abroad till the things cool down.

Hef Sep 05, 2013 02:04am

This is one of its kind security operation where government gives advance notice to the culprits !

We are coming make sure you hide well.

MJK Sep 05, 2013 02:36am

Start with MQM, rest will automatically learn the lesson.

FiaZ Sep 05, 2013 02:55am

Operation should have been in complet secercy to catch criminal by surprised, problem with our present past leaders they want to be the 1st to be on TV, now criminals/murders have more time to move into there masters MQM PPP ANP safe heavens, pakistan main three parties are protecters of these criminals.

RANGO Sep 05, 2013 03:54am

Congrats prime minister for announcing it rather than carrying on surprise operation,,,now what rangers wont even smell a taste of terrorism

imran Sep 05, 2013 04:15am

Good inform every one when its going to start and every one will run away..HAhahhahahha

Azhar Ahmed Sep 05, 2013 04:48am

@Mr.T: Then Mr Sharif Brothers should resign respectfully.....

Dhotiwala Sep 05, 2013 05:21am

Mr. Bean Nisar rightfully called it a exercise and it will be fruitless exercise. Stupid government giving two days notice to all criminals to go under ground . :))

What police and ranger are going to find .. CHAANKANA :))

A. Kha Sep 05, 2013 05:32am

Ah yes... two days.... what about the time and the address where you plan to start it from as well ? Or has that already been sent out to concerned quarters i.e. the target ?

A. Khan Sep 05, 2013 05:33am

@zaheer: Be careful of what you wish for. You could be the one clapped into jail as you argue with a traffic cop at a road block.

HM Sep 05, 2013 07:36am

Couple of days... what a joke...this N league joker is giving criminals to vanish before operation is started. This another white wash. Operations means quite , sincere , across the board op.

S. Israr Ali Sep 05, 2013 07:56am

Whatever you want to do, do it and why this....! The approach "Catch me up, otherwise I am going to do it" is an old sign of cowardice.

ali.ahmed Sep 05, 2013 08:40am

Ready or not (criminals) we come!

Hassan Sep 05, 2013 08:45am

Why they need to inform the criminals that they are starting the operations.... public will not move but all the criminals will go underground after this warning. Stupid ....

Viv Sep 05, 2013 08:43am

Can understand why the criminals would stay put to fight rather than just pack and leave temporarily! Anyway, they have been given sufficient notice and that would be their logical strategy.

A.Rehman Sep 05, 2013 08:47am

It is very surprising that all parties are ready to bring peace in the city but they are against the posting of Zulfiqar Cheema who has delivered positive results where ever he has posted. This clearly indicated the intention of the parties.

Genghis Khan Sep 05, 2013 09:05am

Well! its too late as it always is. I bet the operation has been delayed to allow terrorists to flee from the country abroad and other areas of Sindh and Punjab. Its just a cover up and will result in fiasco again.

Genghis Khan Sep 05, 2013 09:03am

@Ahmed: Yes you are absolutely right

Tom&Jerry Sep 05, 2013 09:27am

Good job, you announced it in advance. You need to even give time table what time you will be knocking on different criminals door so they have some refreshments ready for the law enforcing authorities. These politicians never know when to keep their mouth closed.

Aamir Khan Sep 05, 2013 09:35am

So why it's been advertize in news. They seems to be giving them time to leave Karachi and return after the operation. I felt for you Karachi with these politicians...

Nargis Sep 05, 2013 09:38am

@zaheer: Let the lawyers and courts to decide. Thank you.

Nargis Sep 05, 2013 09:42am

Killings, ransom and extortion is big business in Karachi. People running the show are part of this big business. If I am reading this news correctly then it means that the most lucrative business is going to be shut down. Am I reading this correctly? It is PML-N's turn and they want to do their 5 years of big business. The only losers are the people of Karachi. Only God or India can help Karachi.

Muhammad Sep 05, 2013 10:17am

ya all daku and bhata walay please run away before we come in.

Pakistani Sep 05, 2013 10:30am

Agreed with the minister, since sometime should be given to the terrorist wings of the political parties to scap out of this operation.

Aamir Khan Sep 05, 2013 10:33am

@Pakistani: 110 % true

sabeeh omer Sep 05, 2013 11:29am

Interesting Mr. Nisar. Why not as well divulge details as to the time and location of the operation? So much hue and cry has been raised in the media that ample amount of time has been given to these criminals to flee and hide. The buzz word for any tactical operation to be a success is the element of "surprise" which is nowhere to be found here. Besides the very parties that are harboring these criminals are sitting down to decide what action to take against their cronies. There is no denying the fact that the common man has not an iota of trust in the police force. It is interesting to note that the same has been voiced by the DG Rangers. Why then has the IGP been tasked to revamp the police force and root out criminals? What is the credibility of the IGP? Decisions taken in cabinet meetings are probably leaked to the terrorists not by the constable or head constable but by the top officers of the police who attend the meetings and are aware of the decisions taken. It is they along with the political parties who are in collusion with these terrorists.

Muhammad Mohiuddin Wajid Sep 05, 2013 12:33pm

By disclosing the time about the operation, they are actually, telling the criminals to hide or leave the city. Actual operation would have been without letting know the media and with the help of Army. May ALLAH save Karachi. Aameen.

Arshad Sep 05, 2013 12:54pm

applying old ways these fools expects different results in making the most important city of Pak peaceful. We don't see any creative and intelligent effort in this regard. Everyone knows who are the criminals, these culprits are doing all these atrocities with impunity.

Qasim Sep 05, 2013 01:44pm

Wese socha jae to InshAllah hum seedhe raste pe chal rahe hai =D I think we will make it =D

Juggernauts Sep 05, 2013 02:08pm

To all Criminals in karachi, Please run away and hide temporarily within 2 days A public Server message by Ch Nisar & Company including all other political Parties

Gerry D'Cunha Sep 05, 2013 03:35pm

@Muhammad Mohiuddin Wajid: I fully 100% agree with your comment - but who is going to put these sense in the mind of these incompetent people - it looks like they are not sincere in catching the real culprits because this has become a business of the day in karachi for the bureaucracy

Karani Sep 06, 2013 05:08am

Mr. Minister why don't you tell those criminals the exact time , area of operation and name of those criminals they will be looking for so as not to upset or offend them. Sir stop patronizing the criminals by giving time-tables and warning of your operation if there is one.

malikk Sep 06, 2013 07:20am

CNAK claimed that the action in karachi will take place after 2-days however he was not aware that the action started the next day by rangers.How smart the Interior Minister is?