Apex committee decides to continue Karachi operation: Sharjeel Memon

Published July 12, 2015
An atmosphere of reconciliation prevailed while the stance of the Rangers was also presented during the meeting.  — PPI/file
An atmosphere of reconciliation prevailed while the stance of the Rangers was also presented during the meeting. — PPI/file

KARACHI: Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon on Sunday said the provincial apex committee had agreed on continuing the operation against criminal elements in Karachi.

Talking to media personnel after conclusion of the apex committee meeting, Memon said the operation had significantly checked crime in the metropolis, adding that there was still a lot to achieve.

The minister said the meeting had decided to expedite action against banned outfits and to take to task those abetting and facilitating terrorists, including a few madaris that are supporting radicalism.

He also said those playing in the hands of India will be targeted. He said those using charity money to fund terrorist activities will also be checked.

Responding to a question, Memon said the issue of Rangers' powers in the city had not come under discussion, adding that the matter will be taken to the Sindh Assembly for a final decision.

Memon said the meeting also reviewed implementation of the National Action Plan and lauded Rangers and police for their efforts in curbing extortion, kidnapping for ransom and other prevalent crimes in Karachi.

Earlier today, the Sindh apex committee meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah reviewed implementation of the National Action Plan and the ongoing operation in the provincial capital city.

The meeting was attended by Corps Commander Karachi Lieutenant General Naveed Mukhtar, director general (DG) of Rangers Sindh, Major General Bilal Akbar. Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad and Sindh Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal among others, agreed that the operation would continue as per the consultations held under the National Action Plan (NAP).

Read: Sindh apex committee reviews implementation of National Action Plan

An atmosphere of reconciliation prevailed while the stance of the Rangers was also presented during the meeting, according to which the paramilitary force is not acting against the provincial government rather it is only targeting those officials involved in corruption cases, which are linked to the funding of criminal and terrorist activities.

An increase in cooperation between Sindh Rangers and the provincial government was also agreed upon during the meeting. The participants of the meeting also agreed to improve intelligence-sharing between police and other law enforcement agencies.

Prior top the apex committee meeting, a separate meeting was held at Chief Minister House between Corps Commander Karachi Lieutenant General Naveed Mukhtar, Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and DG Rangers Sindh, Major General Bilal Akbar.

During the meeting, which lasted around two hours, reservations between the Sindh government and the military were removed.

Also read: Zardari cautions military establishment for 'stepping out of domain'

Speculation over the complex civilian-military equation in Sindh has been rife after PPP co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari made an impassioned speech in which he indirectly criticised some steps of the armed forces in the province.

The ‘operation’ against criminal elements in Pakistan’s largest city and commercial hub was initiated back in September 2013 after the federal cabinet empowered Rangers to lead a targeted advance with the support of police against criminals already identified by federal military and civilian agencies for their alleged involvement in targeted killings, gang wars, kidnappings for ransom, extortion and terrorism in Karachi.

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