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Leave 'no stone unturned' in search for Sabri murder, Awais kidnapping perpetrators: COAS

Updated Jun 27, 2016 09:35am


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RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif in a high-level briefing at Rangers Headquarters Karachi on Sunday directed all commanders to leave 'no stone unturned' finding the perpetrators behind the Amjad Sabri murder and Awais Shah kidnapping.

The army chief's visit to Karachi comes days after the high-profile kidnapping of the Sindh High Court chief justice's son Awais Shah and the assassination of famed qawwal Amjad Sabri, who was gunned down in Liaquatabad by unidentified motorcyclists in an attack claimed by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

Shah's kidnapping and Sabri's murder occurred within days of each other, causing fear and panic to spread among residents of Karachi, where citizens had perceived an improvement in the law and order situation since the initiation of the Rangers-led operation in 2013.

COAS Gen Raheel Sharif, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan, Sindh CM Qaim Ali Shah and other officials attend a briefing at the corps headquarters in Karachi on Sunday.
COAS Gen Raheel Sharif, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan, Sindh CM Qaim Ali Shah and other officials attend a briefing at the corps headquarters in Karachi on Sunday.

Gen Raheel was briefed in detail by Director General (DG) Rangers Major General Bilal Akbar on the paramilitary force's ongoing operation, the law and order situation and the way forward for Karachi during the meeting.

Referring to recent incidents, the army chief directed all commanders, including those of intelligence agencies, to continue working hand-in-glove, leaving no stone unturned finding the perpetrators.

The COAS reiterated that the Karachi operation focuses on the entire network of terrorists, their abettors and financiers, and will continue until peace is restored to the city.

Every form of assistance, including intelligence and material combat support, will be provided to the Rangers to accomplish their mission, he said.

General Raheel Sharif also commended Sindh Rangers for the sacrifices they have rendered and for their achievements.

"The determination, courage and resolve of Sind Rangers, to rid the city of terrorists and criminals has earned them the widest respect from the people of Karachi," said the COAS.

'Noticeable improvement, but terror network needs to be dismantled'

General Raheel Sharif, in a meeting at the Corps Headquarters Karachi on Sunday evening, said the ongoing operation had brought about a noticeable improvement in the law and order situation of the metropolis.

“As we progress to target crime and terror syndicate network, we need to keep our focus on actionable human and technical intelligence and totally dismantle their support structure,” said the COAS during the meeting.

The army chief added the operation has now entered a phase where terrorists and their abettors are badly bruised, isolated and hence will go for softer targets in order to survive and undermine the society psychologically.

The chief of army staff also instructed all concerned entities to pre-empt and hunt down the elements active in spreading chaos and disorder in the metropolis.

General Raheel Sharif assured the people of Karachi on the occasion, and emphasised that the nexus of anti-social elements will be broken at all costs, with the ongoing operation taken to its logical conclusion.

Measures to build and increase capacity of law enforcement agencies were also discussed at the meeting.

The meeting at V Corps Headquarters was attended by the COAS, DG ISI, corps commander Karachi, national security adviser, federal interior minister and other senior government officials of Sindh.

As law enforcement agencies count successes in the ongoing operation against terrorists, banned outfits and militant wings of political and religious organisations, Karachiites have faced a sudden rise in street crimes, which has cost at least four lives during the first 10 days of Ramazan and raised fears for the days ahead.

Official data shows a sharp rise in cell phone and motorbike snatching in the first 10 days of holy month compared to crime rate during the corresponding period before Ramazan, indicating renewed activities of armed groups and individuals in the city despite ongoing Rangers-led operation.

Background: Karachi operation

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 federal military and civilian agencies for their alleged involvement in targeted killings, kidnappings for ransom, extortion and terrorism in Karachi.

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".

Amid resentment and criticism from certain political circles over the ‘Karachi operation’, the military establishment in August said that there would be no let-up in actions by law enforcement agencies “to ensure a peaceful and terror-free Karachi”.

Although terror-related incidents have decreased up to 60 per cent in the two years since the commencement of the Karachi operation, sleeper cells of terror outfits still exist in the metropolis and law enforcers have been making concerted efforts to eliminate the same, Karachi Police AIG Mushtaq Maher said in September last year.

The city police chief had said 3,000 hardcore criminals had been arrested, while 246 terrorists, 38 kidnappers and ten extortionists had been killed so far in police encounters.

Maher had said that car-snatching incidents reported in the city were the lowest in the past 15 years while motorcycle-snatching incidents were on the rise, which he said will be curtailed.

Rangers spokesman Colonel Amjad maintained that 913 terrorists including 550 target killers were nabbed while 15,400 illegal weapons were recovered from the custody of criminals operating within the city.


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Comments (93) Closed

Kamran Jun 26, 2016 03:09pm

Welcome to Karachi sir. We the Karachiites respect your sincerity towards Pakistan. Please understand that putting low level criminals in jail is not going to help much in the long term. You need to punish the big political / externally backed fishes to stop the mess in Karachi.

Omar Jun 26, 2016 03:16pm

And yet another briefing!!!

naqeeb Jun 26, 2016 03:20pm

Incompetent governments in Sindh and Federal.

Gibrail Hadi Jun 26, 2016 03:28pm

The Rangers can't help unless they are a permanent force. The police unfortunately is ineffective and has been corrupted.

Karachi needs a soldier on every street corner along with permission to shoot on sight if anyone breaks the law. We should also ban weapons by anyone but law enforcement and do snap checking. Anyone find with a weapon should serve 1 year in prison no questions asked. Those found discharging a weapon (not fatally) get 2-5 years. Those found discharging a weapon and fatally wounding or killing someone get - except in the case of proven self defence - capital punishment. In self defends should get 1 year - same as in possession of a fire arm.

Karachi has descended into near chaos. We need to man every street corner, enact tough laws and enforce them to the end.

kashif Jun 26, 2016 03:34pm

request to army chief ''stay in Karachi''

Moen Jo daro Jun 26, 2016 03:36pm

It is such a shame that Karachi is the worst hit city. Condoling Amjad Sabri's death by VIPs proves incompetence of these rulers. I 100% agree with Fakhre Alam that artists are as equal human s as these incompetent politicians. Alas the security and well being of ordinary citizens is on the bottom list of priorities. We need a new political leadership from the common people to serve common people priorities not the elite group's lavish lifestyle

Attisbutt Jun 26, 2016 03:47pm

Too late Sir.

Zafar Ahmed Jun 26, 2016 03:51pm

All is not well in Karachi and tall claims of bringing law & order under control is false.

Khwarezmi Jun 26, 2016 03:51pm

What is the point of having a Prime Minister if he is not even going to stay in the country and leading it?

What we have in Pakistan is not a democracy understood by developed countries. This is something different: family owned parties made up of ultra rich corrupt people. We need a new system all togather!

Shair Khan Jun 26, 2016 03:53pm

Army and Ranger have been in Karachi for last several decades. Their priority and marching orders is not to solve the crime in Karachi, the Pakistan Army and Rangers are there for their own political motives.

The administration on Karachi should be in the hands of the people of Karachi and not some Sindh chief minister or Pakistan Rangers

The occupation of Sindh by Panjab must come to an end before these problems get solved.

iftikhar choudry Jun 26, 2016 04:06pm

Dear sir you are the only person who cares about Pakistan, you will be in hearts and minds of pakistani nation for centuries.

Dr faizan Jun 26, 2016 04:08pm

It's time to punish the economic terrorists... No more nice guy.

Mahmood Jun 26, 2016 04:10pm

If the army chief is the solution to all the problems, than he should be running the country!

Compare it with bogus assertions that the elected civilian government has a mandate and should be allowed to rule through full term - no matter how incompetent, ineffective and always looking for the Army chief to solve even the smallest criminal act or keep the peace within the country.

Pakistan as a nation of 180 million is a joke, where no one knows which institutions have what roles and responsibilities. Somehow, in this scenario, the so-called democracy is nothing but a fraud perpetrated on the whole nation.

Muzzammil Hussain Jun 26, 2016 04:15pm

General Raheel, Please bring peace in Karachi before your retirement. Thanks

Qamar Ahmed Jun 26, 2016 04:30pm

It is a general perception that when the time bars on Rangers Karachi becomes turmoil and the situation normalizes when the period of stay extended for Rangers. Thus gen should look into it

Skywalker Jun 26, 2016 04:31pm

It's not raheel shares job, where is the so called govt., does it even exist, I think not, has the King returned from London after his fake operation, unfortunately not. Time for martial law we don't need western style democrazy.

jumpstart Jun 26, 2016 04:39pm

Whats coming... PM in London, unwell ...Army Chief overlooking astate subject , Corps Commander meeting on civil Law and order situation.... Raheels retirement plan unfolding PM !

Sulaiman Jun 26, 2016 04:50pm

What about poor masses dying at the hands of Transport Mafia, Drug Mafia, Parking Mafia, Water Tank Mafia, Qabza Mafia, Extortion Mafia, Weapons Mafia, Food Adulteration Mafia, Fake Medicine Mafia, Car Theft Mafia, etc Entire KMC and Municipal set up needs to be privatized.

Jami Jun 26, 2016 04:52pm

@iftikhar choudry Dear Gen Raheel is doing what he supposed to do. This is his duty to protect and maintain peace in the country and he gets paid for that from the nation.

M.Jamal Jun 26, 2016 04:56pm

The same story being repeated again and again.There can't be any change unless the people who own this city are given chance to manage their affairs.Karachi due to its commercial importance and the money it generates does not allow the corrupt powerful to allow the deserving and elected a chance to serve this city.General Sahab,if serious and fair must meet the designated Mayor of Karachi and instruct the present administration to delegate power to the elected team without any loss of time

Haji Jun 26, 2016 04:58pm

To get admiration from topnotch political leadership and government you have to be an artist not a scholar, scientist or educationist.

Kazi Jun 26, 2016 04:58pm

Police institute has been finished.Rangers have to take control of Karachi or otherwise we have lost many many lives without rangers in last 2 years.

Shahid Jun 26, 2016 05:05pm

If Gen Raheel would like to restore peace in Karachi he must order sindh government to give rights, power and finance to local government representatives or establish Karachi as a new province.

Karachites Appeal Jun 26, 2016 05:07pm

Sir please dont leave us alone.

Houlbelat Jun 26, 2016 05:15pm

All have visited for condolences but Imran Khan has still not decided !

Abbas Khan Jun 26, 2016 05:17pm

A little late is better than never! Unfortunately, we people still circulating hypothetical textual traffic based upon assumptions. Democratically decorated titanic is in whirlpools. General Raheel Sharif is silver lining in dark cloud. Nation demands merciless accountability across the board. Martyrdom of Amjad Sabri is not a murder of spiritual music maestro but an unadjustable dent on the soft image of Pakistan. It's indeed a coldblooded murder but chief executive of province still in silver slumber and supremo of state still silent overseas. Arrival of army chief in weeping and mourning Karachi is a pleasant gust of breeze in suffocation of slaughtering scheme of things.

Amjad Jun 26, 2016 05:17pm

The problem of Karachi is that the top leadership in establishment and government does not want to give due rights to people of Karachi. Merely cosmetic measures may bring peace for short time but do not last for long. The city of Karachi hasbeen transformed into a village and the living standard has gone low and pathetic but top elite does not care at all.

Syed Raza Jun 26, 2016 05:21pm

do something serious about it General I don't trust rangers anymore.

Shaiq Jun 26, 2016 05:29pm

The terrorists come from other provinces spread the terrorism and return back to their dens. In turn security agencies search the terrorists within the dense population in the city an cause not only inconvenience but aggravate abhorrence.

Ali Raza-Brisbane Jun 26, 2016 05:44pm

No comment.

Ali Raza-Brisbane Jun 26, 2016 05:48pm

@Gibrail Hadi

Since 1958, there is a soldiers at every corner, and in every government department.

More than half the time army ruled the country. Things got from bad to worse.

Things are still not changing.

Ali Raza-Brisbane Jun 26, 2016 05:55pm

We should accept the facts with open mind, and big heart.

Our security establishment/intelligence agencies are not capable of solving this problem alone.

Thank God, US has used drones to wipe out the terrorist, otherwise, they they will be on our heads.

Our capability is very limited.

Jawaid kamal Jun 26, 2016 06:11pm

Here we go again

Kk Jun 26, 2016 06:17pm

COAS can't do anything if society mindset has gone to that of Medieval age. For them it's routine killing hence no one cares for open society it's disturbing.

Nazakat Kandhro Jun 26, 2016 06:32pm

Welcome back.. You are the only hope's Nation

nope Jun 26, 2016 06:33pm

Welcome to the chief ! Please scale up this operation. The initial proposal of having police stations run by Rangers needs to be brought up again. We need those stations!

Mohammad Khan USA Jun 26, 2016 06:34pm

What the Prime Minister and his cabinet has to do with the increasing rate of crime ? And what the Sindh Government is doing to curb the crime in Karachi ,the root of all the crimes is Corruption unless Corruption is not minimized crimes like phone snatching,kidnapping car and motorcycle snatchings will exist these are related to Corruption the Sindh police has to be dealt with iron hands , it has world record in Corruption regarding target killings this is a mixed phenomenon it can only be resolved with consences and dialogue and strong action

Faizan Jun 26, 2016 06:34pm

What about scores of poor people killed or kidnapped.. seems they dont even exist and its not a poor man's world. You eill get everything if you are powerful and rich but the poor will die without getting justice, basic needs and peace.

mo Jun 26, 2016 06:48pm

judges are part of the problem

when they catch bad guys, then come judges and their courts and human rights

its not Human rights but their ( fees and businesses)

now ask them how you will control , with magic winde

Syed Ahmed, Canada Jun 26, 2016 06:56pm

The Army will now take on the Police role??? Why can't is manage courts as well since the judges cannot dispense justice and alway remain under pressure from all type of terrorists, land grabber and the extortionists as well as politicians.

magno_man Jun 26, 2016 07:00pm

fawad alam should be selected as he is from karachi

Lawrence of Arabia Jun 26, 2016 07:12pm

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Same old rhetoric.

A toubled resident of khi Jun 26, 2016 07:15pm

We returned from abroad to live in khi hearing what a great job the army had done to clean up the city. how has everything gone so bad in the last 20 days. so many mugging and thefts all in the last 20 days how can things deteriorate so much. what happened?

GA Jun 26, 2016 07:14pm

Are people of Karachi fully cooperating with the security forces by reporting these culprits or suspicious activities?

Zak Jun 26, 2016 07:19pm

What has the army to do with law and order in a democratic country. It's because the politicians are useless and corrupt.

imran ali Jun 26, 2016 07:25pm

first make Rangers apolitical and accept karachi mandate ,stop supporting PSP

Citizen of Karachi Jun 26, 2016 07:37pm

I would like to give the benefit of doubt to our security agencies but apparently they have not come out of the law and order trap. Bangladesh was treated as a law and order issue and no amount of swagger could help retain that half. Karachi is being treated and approached through the same lens. Focus on law and order by all means but let the urban areas be governed by their own reps. Dec 2015 provided a graceful exit point when power in the urban areas could have reverted to their reps and Rangers could have limited back their focus to the 'real' terrorists. This opportunity would be rued for a long time to come.

Shams Jun 26, 2016 08:03pm

Why establishment in denial mode to accept mandate of people of Karachi that is ith MQM. How long they keep people of Karachi on hold and prevent them to address their own problems by their own. These tentative measures will never sustain peace for long. We have seen decades with such tactics and no result.

Kaunjee Jun 26, 2016 08:09pm

Sir please escalate the operation in Karachi, it's high time that we wipe off gangs once and for all. You are our only hope General Sahib

Merchant Jun 26, 2016 08:22pm

What about non-elite and not so well off ordinary people of Pakistan?? There should be strong instituiotins including police so that COAS do not need to descend to Karachi every time a celebrity is killed. Looking at the trend there are more to follow and only established instituiotins can control it.

Irfan Jun 26, 2016 08:34pm

There is only one message for General Raheel Sharif and his team "We people of Pakistan belive you and trust you".

ibmx Jun 26, 2016 08:38pm

Why is the army doing the work of the Police?

Syed Ali Anwer Jun 26, 2016 08:42pm

The brutal killing of Amjad Sabri, Pakistan's finest Sufi vocalist is indeed the last straw in the camel's back. The people of Pakistan are sickened to the core. Desperate times call for extreme measures. Gen Raheel must take swift action. Impose Governor rule . Lock down Karachi and initiate a house to house weapons search starting from CM's House, Govenor's House right down to the lowest tenements. Those who have nothing to hide and fear will cooperate with the authorities. Abettors and facilitators of terrorists should be nabbed irrespective of any political party affiliation. Big fish here and abroad must be brought to book Night curfew should imposed in volatile areas. Sir, Please act now before we are all doomed.

ASAD IQBAL Jun 26, 2016 08:52pm

I think the solution is now to establish military courts and forward all high profile cases there.

Accountability Jun 26, 2016 09:35pm

Excellent. This is the kind of determination and dedication nation wants to get rid of all target killers, bhatta khores, kidnappers and foreign spies in the countries. Improvements in policing system is a must to make effective policing for protection of pakistani citizens throughout the country. (More police training and no political influence on police officers doing their job).

hitman Jun 26, 2016 09:36pm

all best ... deal with roots , enough of cutting the grass

Accountability Jun 26, 2016 09:43pm

@Khwarezmi Very good, you said it correctly ' its not democracy, its family run business'. Now, it looks like that pakistani citizens would be ruled by 'prince' and 'princess' next elections. (Thays what you get when there are no elections within political parties to 'elect' capable political leaders who are accountable to party members, if not to the people of Pakistan. (Need a democracy that works to solve problems faced by pakistani citizens).

Ayub Jun 26, 2016 10:02pm

The using of force is not the ultimate solution to the Karachi problem. The issue of Karachi can be resolved only through political means. The military & civil establishments should wholeheartedly recognize the political mandate of MQM in the urban Sind. The MQM should also review its policies and respect the rights of other ethnic communities living in urban Sind. They should also cleanse the party from criminals and foreign agents.

From USA, S.A.Hyder, Ph.D. Jun 26, 2016 10:11pm

You do not have to search for Sabri's killers, Mr. COAS. The killers have already taken the responsibility and every one, including you, knows who they are. Just go and catch them AND punish them. If you are unable to punish them then invite the US drone operators to do the job for you. They will gladly do it.

Mohammad Safdar Jun 26, 2016 10:21pm

Welldone General sahib keep it up the people of Karachi deserve peace and stability

M Jamal Jun 26, 2016 10:35pm

It is not possible to turn all the stones as the population of this city is more than 20 million and the people who have to turn the stones are not more than 100000.So to turn all the stones you need ear,eyes and heart of 20 million and that is possible when the representative people take the charge of this city with complete administration and security personnel under them as in any civilised country.Pakistan will only rise when their is justice in this country.

Shahzad Jun 26, 2016 10:43pm

The people who support operation to eliminate terrorism are in favor of the rangers to stay forever in this city so they could loot the money without any hurdle. They would like to have democracy in their provinces but like army in Karachi.

Wahid Ali Jun 26, 2016 11:45pm

Sir please, let the civil agencies do their job. Keep all your focus on Zerb-e-Azb which has yet to deliver its final knockout blow.

testament of leadership or... Jun 27, 2016 02:28am

this should be the domain of civilian internal security but looking at the number of people root for the General here - it is more a testament to the state of governance and democracy in the country.

Waheed Jun 27, 2016 02:46am

@Omar thats why Man at the best in Pakistan army.

Waheed Jun 27, 2016 02:48am

@Attisbutt time was stopped 14 august 1947.

SYED HASSAN HASEEB Jun 27, 2016 03:28am

too many statments , as a very common man , pl stop street crimes and try to control land grabbers/mafia if that is done people will have peace.

Patriot Jun 27, 2016 03:35am

Mr. COAS go to the source who we all know very well

OSD Jun 27, 2016 05:36am

Absolutely wonderful.. The people of Pakistan were hoping for this exact response and Gen Raheel Sharif has proven himself to be peerless as a true commander.

cutestoneMC Jun 27, 2016 07:20am

@Kamran They're on the current list.

cutestoneMC Jun 27, 2016 07:20am

@Gibrail Hadi They need to charge corrupt cops with felonies when they commit any crime, no matter what they do. Ill be sending that to JC

cutestoneMC Jun 27, 2016 07:24am

@iftikhar choudry Not true. Many do.

cutestoneMC Jun 27, 2016 07:25am

@Kamran Send me a list of them from all towns. I'll report them.

cutestoneMC Jun 27, 2016 07:28am

@Haji You are all set then!

ahmad Jun 27, 2016 07:45am

is this army chief job, it is police job but people blame army.

The End is Near Jun 27, 2016 09:14am

Sir General Raheel Zinda Baad. Pak Army Zinda Baad.

malik nawaz Jun 27, 2016 09:34am

The problem with our LEADERS is that they do not understand the situation at all and make statements which are not possible "leave no stone un turned"

patriot Jun 27, 2016 10:40am

@SShair Khan Sanest counsel. God bless you

Shakti Oberoi Jun 27, 2016 10:51am

Turning stones don't help all that much unless you are looking for worms. In this case, I would suggest appointing a good investigative team to hunt for the killers.

Azhar jamil Jun 27, 2016 11:15am

First remove this all time sleeping CM and secondly replace the all season Governer of the province. Then we can expect a change. Otherwise it will be a futile exercise at all.

Fact Finder Jun 27, 2016 11:21am

@From USA, S.A.Hyder, Ph.D. Well good advise, but US always charges in a different way.

Ind Jun 27, 2016 12:00pm

Other institutions (police, judiciary, political Govt) should alos play their role for success. Army alone has done maximum.

Ismail Jun 27, 2016 12:09pm

Rangers operation has really given peace to the innocent people of Karachi. Terrorism from Karachi as well as all the Pakistan must be eradicated. Services of Rangers are very much appreciated really. May Almighty bless them success to save the Muslims in Karachi and Pakistan.

Shumail Jun 27, 2016 12:13pm

@iftikhar choudry The guy has done nothing special.

Shumail Jun 27, 2016 12:14pm

@Houlbelat Everyone reacted late, lets see how many days Imran Khan takes to visit.

Bilal Jun 27, 2016 12:19pm

Gen sb! Please pay attention to ban outfits who is the mother of all terrorism. Pak Army Zindabad .... Pakistan Paindabad

BRILLIANT LOGIC Jun 27, 2016 01:40pm

it is the job of the police and not the army.

Timeto stopthis Jun 27, 2016 02:03pm

This country is a mess. The people voted the politicians in and now want the army to take over. So why did you vote for these people if you didnt want them to run the country?

fazalpai Jun 27, 2016 04:07pm

@mo very true fact.

inam east london Jun 27, 2016 04:17pm

Dear people of Karachi, once named the great city, 'city of lights' we i have solution to your problems. To rid of crime, lawlessness, mafia, cruptions etc. Each and everyone of you would need to report any crime, suspicion behaviour to one central controlled telephone number - which will be coordinated by special force working with intelligence / rangers. the idea is to spy on everyone bit like the KGB in Russia, this way every one will be scared and forced to follow the law and so good. you thoughts...?

Harish Jun 27, 2016 05:58pm

Looks like there is no government is Pakistan. COAS has to get involved and talk about punishing criminals. Who runs Pakistan?

ABDUL MUQTADIR Jun 27, 2016 09:31pm

Now doing the IG job too?

Adil Jadoon Jun 27, 2016 11:46pm

@Houlbelat condolences are useless, we need action from the govt.