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KARACHI, July 6: President Asif Ali Zardari ordered law enforcement agencies on Saturday to take action against criminals in Karachi ‘irrespective of their political association’.

He called for drastic action in Lyari to stem the renewed wave of violence that has claimed at least 12 lives in a week and forced families to leave the area in search of safety.

According to a senior official, the president was briefed by officers of police and Sindh Rangers on the law and order situation in Karachi.

The recent breakdown of law and order in Lyari, a stronghold of the Pakistan People’s Party, also came under discussion during a meeting presided over by the president.

Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and legislators belonging to the PPP attended the meeting.

“The meeting was not particularly about Lyari,” Sindh information minister Sharjeel Memon told Dawn.

In a grim episode last week, gunmen indiscriminately fired at public near Machchi Miani Market and killed three people, including a woman.

Violence has persisted in several localities of Lyari for several weeks with the area from the Kamela bus stand to Agra Taj and Bihar colonies gravely affected, forcing residents to migrate in large numbers. Their migration continues with both dominant communities — Kutchhis and Baloch — equally affected.