TAXILA: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has hinted that the security forces’ operation against criminals in Karachi will be expedited and pursued till its logical conclusion.

Talking to reporters at the Wah General Hospital on Saturday, he said the operation had been launched on the wish of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement after consulting all the political parties, including the PPP and MQM in August 2013.

The minister said the government was ready to address the PPP and MQM’s reservations about the operation.

He said the situation in Karachi as well as Quetta had changed a lot since the launching of the targeted actions.

He said that the pace of flushing out criminals from various areas had been speeded up and this was yielding good results.

Government prepared to address reservations of PPP, MQM

He said Quetta had turned into a ghost town because of law and order problems in the past but the situation had improved in Balochistan because of the government’s policies and about 90 per cent of the settlers, mostly from Punjab, were now returning there.

In reply to a question, he said Rangers and the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) were interrogating detained PPP leader Dr Asim Hussain and he would be dealt with in accordance with the law. He said the interior ministry had received the Rangers’ investigation report and now NAB had launched an inquiry into the matter.

The minister said over 200 employees of the National Database and Registration Authority had been sacked and cases had been registered against them for issuing computerised national identity cards (CNICs) to foreigners.

He said about 100,000 dubious CNICs had been blocked and the fate of the card holders would be decided after verification of their citizenship by intelligence agencies.

Condemning a terrorist attack on a DawnNews van in Karachi, he said the attack on media was a sensitive issue and the government would utilise all its resources to protect journalists. He said media persons were the target of terrorists because they were always on the frontline. Those involved in the attack would be brought to justice, he said.

About the third phase of local bodies elections in Punjab and Sindh, Chaudhry Nisar said that his ministry was consulting the Election Commission about providing additional security at the polling stations which had been declared sensitive. He said the Rangers and Frontier Constabulary personnel would also be deployed along with police on the polling day in areas where the elections would be held.

While reviewing the development work at the hospital, the minister termed it the fastest project which would be completed ahead of the deadline in a record 18 months. The first phase of the Rs1.24 billion project will be completed in February 2017.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2015