Interior Minister Rehman Malik. — APP File Photo

KARACHI, May 4: Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said the police-led operation in Lyari has been suspended for 48 hours on humanitarian grounds. However, he has vowed to teach the terrorists a lesson.

Addressing a news conference on Friday, he alleged that Lyari had become a bastion of ‘miscreants’ and also a “launching pad for the Balochistan Liberation Army”.

Mr Malik claimed that these elements were getting weapons that were smuggled from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan in oil tankers. He expressed astonishment over the types of arms seized in the area and said that even law-enforcement personnel didn’t have such sophisticated weapons.

He said the people of Lyari should realise that the ‘miscreants’ had become a serious threat to the country. He urged the armed gangs to surrender their weapons to the Rangers personnel if they had any regard for the people of Lyari.

The minister said the ‘troublemakers’ should not think that the police had ended their operation. “They have only changed their tactics and are waiting for further instructions.”

He praised the performance of Chaudhry Aslam of the CID, who has been accused by Lyariites of deliberately killing innocent people in line with a “sinister agenda of the authorities”.

Mr Malik said the ‘troublemakers’ who didn’t want to surrender to police should lay down their weapons before the Rangers personnel.

When asked if the sophisticated weapons seized in the area had been issued during Zulfikar Mirza’s tenure as home minister, Mr Malik said the former minister could not have allowed rocket launchers, etc.

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