KARACHI: Terrorists suspected of involvement in attacks on personnel of law enforcement agencies (LEA) will be apprehended in the next phase of Karachi operation, said a press release issued by Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) Monday.
The Rangers said terrorists, contract killers and their facilitators involved in attacks on LEA personnel "especially police, lawyers and witnesses" will be arrested, and such elements will be eliminated in the new phase of the Karachi operation — which completed two years in September this year.
The Rangers have requested the citizens of Karachi to inform the paramilitary force about such elements on their 1101 helpline, through SMS, or via emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karachi — a city of around 20 million people and Pakistan's economic capital — has been racked in recent years by criminal, ethnic, political and religious violence.
A recent wave of deadly attacks against traffic policemen has claimed the lives of nearly a dozen personnel within a few weeks. Unarmed and without any regular policing training, traffic constables were later given automated rifles, pistols and bulletproof vests by the Sindh police for self-defence.
Police authorities also sought the assistance of paramilitary Rangers to provide security to traffic police personnel in the metropolis.
Protection of witnesses in high-profile cases related to terrorism has also been a major concern. A key witness in the murder case of Sabeen Mahmud, prominent rights activist and co-founder of social forum The Second Floor (T2F), was shot dead in a suspected targeted attack earlier in September.
Examine: Witness protection
The ‘operation’ against criminal elements in Pakistan’s 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 the federal, military and civilian agencies for their alleged involvement in targeted killings, kidnappings for ransom, extortion and terrorism in Karachi.
Meanwhile, a high-level apex committee meeting chaired by the Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif on May 14, 2015 decided to implement effective policing and surveillance in the "vast suburbs of Karachi", to prevent what the military spokesperson said were "sneaking terrorist attacks".
At that meeting, Gen Sharif vowed to continue "across the board operations" at an increased pace and hunt down terrorists who commit heinous acts.