Interior Minister Rehman Malik. — APP File Photo

KARACHI: All the efforts of Sindh Police for restoring peace in Karachi’s old neighbourhood of Lyari proved futile as miscreants on Friday killed two police officials after attacking the Napier Police Station, DawnNews reported.

Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik had ordered to halt the ongoing operation for next 48 hours to give the armed criminals a chance to put down their weapons and come to negotiation table.

Speaking to media representatives, he said that criminals should not make mistake of considering the 'provisional retreat' of the armed forces as a defeat or weakness.

“We have halted the operation on humanitarian bases and to provide miscreants a chance to surrender,” the minister added.

However, firing picked up the pace again soon after the police also announced to halt the operation following the interior minister’s orders.

Contingents of police and Frontier Corps (FC) were also ordered to retreat from the area.

On the other hand, banned People’s Aman Committee (PAC) chief Uzair Jan Baloch addressed a protest rally which was held following the security forces’ interim withdrawal.

Speaking to the rally, Uzair Baloch announced to participate in the next general elections as an independent candidate.

“Decision of surrendering to Rangers will be taken after consulting the ‘elders.’ I am ready to negotiate with any political party,” said the PAC chief.

Earlier, addressing the provincial ministers from Sindh during a meeting, President Asif Ali Zardari said that Lyari is the stronghold of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and terrorists would be held accountable regardless of their political affiliations.

The president also stressed on finding a political solution of the issue.

Friday morning saw a tense Lyari as the operation against criminal elements in the area had entered its eighth day.

Sporadic gunfire could be heard in the area as authorities reportedly finalised plans to use helicopters for the operation and deploy Rangers in the area.

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