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DADU, June 30: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has said that talks between the Muttahida Qaumi Movement and the Pakistan People’s Party on the MQM’s joining the government are under way but the PPP has not yet received a final reply.

The PPP government was against all criminal elements in Karachi and it did not want to blame any particular party for worsening law and order, said the chief minister.

He was talking to journalists after laying a wreath on the grave of Hazrat Lal Shahbaz Qalandar on the third and final day of the saint’s annual Urs celebrations on Sunday.

He said the government would eliminate all criminal elements from Karachi and all political parties should support the PPP government’s measures for maintenance of law and order in the metropolis.

About an increase in the number of accidents on the Jamshoro-Sehwan section of the Indus Highway during Urs days, Mr Shah said that drivers should be extra careful as it was a single-lane road.

He said that first the work of repair, maintaining and extension of the Superhighway was started then the Indus Highway Sehwan-Jamshoro would be constructed a double road to provide facilities to passengers.

He said renovation and reconstruction of the Qalandar shrine had been launched on special directives of President Asif Ali Zardari. The reason for a slow pace of construction was to ensure its quality, he said.

The chief minister was accompanied by his adviser on finance Syed Murad Ali Shah and MPA Awais Muzaffar during the visit.

Meanwhile, the chief minister regretted MQM lawmakers' allegation that he had a soft corner for gangsters, terrorists and extortionists.

A spokesman for the chief minister described the MQM members' press statement as ridiculous and contrary to facts, a handout issued in Karachi said.

He said the law-enforcement agencies, on directives of the chief minister, were carrying out targeted operations against terrorists, criminals and extortionists, and had arrested hundreds of criminal elements.

The spokesman said the MaQM lawmakers instead of pursuing politics for the sake of politics should support the crackdown against criminals to bring them to justice and to restore peace to Karachi.

He said the chief minister always observed patience, tolerance and politeness, and even his opponents acknowledged his those qualities.